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The Secret Teachings Of All ages 


MASONIC, hermetic, 
Being an Interpretation of the 
Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories, 
and Mysteries of all Ages 

Manly P. Hall 


[1928, no renewal] 



NUMEROUS volumes have been written as commentaries upon the secret systems of philosophy 
existing in the ancient world, but the ageless truths of life, like many of the earth's greatest thinkers, 
have usually been clothed in shabby garments. The present work is an attempt to supply a tome 
worthy of those seers and sages whose thoughts are the substance of its pages. To bring about this 
coalescence of Beauty and Truth has proved most costly, but I believe that the result will produce an 
effect upon the mind of the reader which will more than justify the expenditure. 

Work upon the text of this volume was begun the first day of January, 1926, and has continued almost 
uninterruptedly for over two years. The greater part of the research work, however, was carried on 
prior to the writing of the manuscript. The collection of reference material was begun in 1921, and 
three years later the plans for the book took definite form. For the sake of clarity, all footnotes were 
eliminated, the various quotations and references to other authors being embodied in the text in their 
logical order. The bibliography is appended primarily to assist those interested in selecting for future 
study the most authoritative and important items dealing with philosophy and symbolism. To make 
readily accessible the abstruse information contained in the book, an elaborate topical cross index is 

I make no claim for either the infallibility or the originality of any statement herein contained. I have 
studied the fragmentary writings of the ancients sufficiently to realize that dogmatic utterances 
concerning their tenets are worse than foolhardy. Traditionalism is the curse of modern philosophy, 
particularly that of the European schools. While many of the statements contained in this treatise 
may appear at first wildly fantastic, I have sincerely endeavored to refrain from haphazard 
metaphysical speculation, presenting the material as far as possible in the spirit rather than the letter 
of the original authors. By assuming responsibility only for the mistakes which may' appear herein, I 
hope to escape the accusation of plagiarism which has been directed against nearly every writer on 
the subject of mystical philosophy. 

Having no particular ism of my own to promulgate, I have not attempted to twist the original writings 
to substantiate preconceived notions, nor have I distorted doctrines in any effort to reconcile the 
irreconcilable differences present in the various systems of religio-philosophic thought. 

The entire theory of the book is diametrically opposed to the modem method of thinking, for it is 
concerned with subjects openly ridiculed by the sophists of the twentieth century. Its true purpose is 
to introduce the mind of the reader to a hypothesis of living wholly beyond the pale of materialistic 
theology, philosophy, or science. The mass of abstruse material between its covers is not susceptible 
to perfect organization, but so far as possible related topics have been grouped together. 

Rich as the English language is in media of expression, it is curiously lacking in terms suitable to the 
conveyance of abstract philosophical premises. A certain intuitive grasp of the subtler meanings 
concealed within groups of inadequate words is necessary therefore to an understanding of the 
ancient Mystery Teachings. 

Although the majority of the items in the bibliography are in my own library, I wish to acknowledge 
gratefully the assistance rendered by the Public Libraries of San Francisco and Los Angeles, the 
libraries of the Scottish Rite in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the libraries of the University of 
California in Berkeley and Los Angeles, the Mechanics' Library in San Francisco, and the Krotona 
Theosophical Library at Ojai, California. Special recognition for their help is also due to the following 
persons: Mrs. Max Heindel, Mrs. Alice Palmer Henderson, Mr. Ernest Dawson and staff, Mr. John 

Howell, Mr. Paul Elder, Mr. Phillip Watson Hackett, and Mr. John R. Ruckstell. Single books were 
lent by other persons and organizations, to whom thanks are also given. 

The matter of translation was the greatest single task in the research work incident to the preparation 
of this volume. The necessary 

p. 6 

German translations, which required nearly three years, were generously undertaken by Mr. Alfred 
Beri, who declined all remuneration for his labor. The Latin, Italian, French, and Spanish translations 
were made by Prof. Homer P. Earle. The Hebrew text was edited by Rabbi Jacob M. Alkow. 
Miscellaneous short translations and checking also were done by various individuals. 

The editorial work was under the supervision of Dr. C. B. Rowlingson, through whose able efforts 
literary order was often brought out of literary chaos. Special recognition is also due the services 
rendered by Mr. Robert B. Tummonds, of the staff of H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., to whom were 
assigned the technical difficulties of fitting the text matter into its allotted space. For much of the 
literary charm of the work I am also indebted to Mr. M. M. Saxton, to whom the entire manuscript 
was first dictated and to whom was also entrusted the preparation of the index. The splendid efforts 
of Mr. J. Augustus Knapp, the illustrator, have resulted in a series of color plates which add materially 
to the beauty and completeness of the work. Q The printing of the book was in the hands of Mr. 
Frederick E. Keast, of H. S. Crocker Company, Inc., whose great personal interest in the volume has 
been manifested by an untiring effort to improve the quality thereof Through the gracious 
cooperation of Dr. John Henry Nash, the foremost designer of printing on the American Continent, 
the book appears in a unique and appropriate form, embodying the finest elements of the printer's 
craft. An increase in the number of plates and also a finer quality of workmanship than was first 
contemplated have been made possible by Mr. C. E. Benson, of the Los Angeles Engraving Company, 
who entered heart and soul into the production of this volume. 

The pre-publication sale of this book has been without known precedent in book history. The 
subscription list for the first edition of 550 copies was entirely closed a year before the manuscript 
was placed in the printer's hands. The second, or King Solomon, edition, consisting of 550 copies, and 
the third, or Theosophical, edition, consisting of 200 copies, were sold before the finished volume was 
received from the printer. For so ambitious a production, this constitutes a unique achievement. The 
credit for this extraordinary sales program belongs to Mrs. Maud F. Galigher, who had as her ideal 
not to sell the book in the commercial sense of the word but to place it in the hands of those 
particularly interested in the subject matter it contains. Valuable assistance in this respect was also 
rendered by numerous friends who had attended my lectures and who without compensation 
undertook and successfully accomplished the distribution of the book. 

In conclusion, the author wishes to acknowledge gratefully his indebtedness to each one of the 
hundreds of subscribers through whose advance payments the publication of this folio was made 
possible. To undertake the enormous expense involved was entirely beyond his individual means and 
those who invested in the volume had no assurance of its production and no security other than their 
faith in the integrity of the writer. 

I sincerely hope that each reader will profit from the perusal of this book, even as I have profited from 
the writing of it. The years of labor and thought expended upon it have meant much to me. The 
research work discovered to me many great truths; the writing of it discovered to me the laws of order 
and patience; the printing of it discovered to me new wonders of the arts and crafts; and the whole 
enterprise has discovered to me a multitude of friends whom otherwise I might never have known. 
And so, in the words of John Bunyan: 

It down, until at last it came to be, 
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see. 


Los Angeles, California 

May 28,1928 


Table of Contents 







Ancient systems of education—Celsus concerning the Christians—Knowledge necessary 21 
to right hving~The Druidic Mysteries of Britain and Gaul—The Rites of Mithras— The 
Mithraic and Christian Mysteries contrasted. 


The Gnostic Mysteries— Simon Magus and Basilides— Abraxas, the Gnostic concept of 

Deity— The Mysteries of Serapis— Labyrinth symbolism— The Odinic, or Gothic, 



The Eleusinian Mysteries— The Lesser Rites— The Greater Rites— The Orphic Mysteries- 29 
-The Bacchic Mysteries— The Dionysiac Mysteries. 


Plato's Atlantis in the light of modern science-The Myth of the Dying God-The Rite of 
Tammuz and Ishtar— The Mysteries of Atys and Adonis-The Rites of Sabazius— The 
Cabiric Mysteries of Samothrace. 


Suppositions concerning identity of Hermes— The mutilated Hermetic fragments— The 
Book of Thoth— Poimandres, the Vision of Hermes— The Mystery of Universal Mind— 
The Seven Governors of the World. 


The opening of the Great Pyramid by Caliph at Mamoun— The passageways and 
chambers of the Great Pyramid— The riddle of the Sphinx— The Pyramid Mysteries— 
The secret of the Pyramid coffer-The dwelling place of the Hidden God. 


The birthdays of the gods— The murder of Osiris— The Hermetic Isis— The symbols 45 
peculiar to Isis— The Troubadours— The mummification of the dead. 


The Solar Trinity-Christianity and the Sun— The birthday of the Sun— The three Suns— 49 
The celestial inhabitants of the Sun— The midnight Sun. 


Primitive astronomical instruments— The equinoxes and solstices— The astrological 
ages of the world— The circular zodiac of Tentyra— An interpretation of the zodiacal 
signs— The horoscope of the world. 


Plato's initiation in the Great Pyramid— The history of the Bembine Table— Platonic 
theory of ideas— The interplay of the three philosophical zodiacs— The Chaldean 
philosophy of triads— The Orphic Egg. 


The ever-burning lamps— The oracle of Delphi— The Dodonean oracle— The oracle of 


Trophonius—The initiated architects—The Seven Wonders of the world. 

Pythagoras and the School of Crotona—Pythagoric fundamentals—The symmetrical . 
solids— The symbolic aphorisms of Pythagoras— Pythagorean astronomy— Kepler's 
theory of the universe. 


The theory of numbers— The numerical values of letters— Method of securing the ^ 
numerical Power of words— An introduction to the Pythagorean theory of numbers— 
The sieve of Eratosthenes— The meanings of the ten numbers. 

The philosophical manikin— The three universal centers— The temples of initiation— 73 
The hand in symbolism— The greater and lesser man— The Anthropos, or Oversoul. 


The building of Solomon's Temple— The murder of CHiram Abiff— The martyrdom of 
Jacques de Molay— The spirit fire and the pineal gland— The wanderings of the 
astronomical CHiram— Cleopatra's Needle and Masons' marks. 


Pythagoras and the diatonic scale— Therapeutic music— The music of the spheres— The 
use of color in symbolism— The colors of the spectrum and the musical scale— Zodiacal 
and planetary colors. 


Jonah and the whale— The fish the symbol of Christ— The Egyptian scarab— Jupiter's 85 

fly— The serpent of wisdom— The sacred crocodile. 

The dove, the yonic emblem— The self -renewing phcenix— The Great Seal of the United 
States of America— Bast, the cat goddess of the Ptolemies— Apis, the sacred bull— The 
monoceros, or unicorn. 


The flower, a phallic symbol— The lotus blossom— The Scandinavian World Tree, 
Yggdrasil— The sprig of acacia— The juice of the grape— The magical powers of the 


Prehistoric monuments— The tablets of the Law— The Holy Grail— The ages of the 97 
world— Talismanic jewels— Zodiacal and planetary stones and gems. 


The black magic of Egypt— Doctor Johannes Faustus— The Mephistopheles of the 
Grimores— The invocation of spirits— Pacts with demons— The symbolism of the 

p. 8 


The Paracelsian theory of submundanes— The orders of elemental beings— The 
Gnomes, Undines, Salamanders, and Sylphs— Demonology— The incubus and 
succubus— Vampirism. 

The healing methods of Paracelsus— Palingenesis— Hermetic theories concerning the 
cause of disease— Medicinal properties of herbs— The use of drugs in the Mysteries— 
The sect of the Assassins. 


The written and unwritten laws— The origin of the Qabbalistic writings— Rabbi Simeon 113 
ben Jochai— The great Qabbalistic books— The divisions of the Qabbalistic system— The 




Sepher Yetzirah. 


and the Cosmic Egg—The Qabbahstic system of worlds—The Qabbahstic interpretation 
of Ezekiel's vision— The great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream— The Grand Man of 
the universe— The fifty gates of hfe. 


The thirty-two paths of wisdom— The Greater and the Lesser Face— Kircher's 
Sephirothic Tree— The mystery of Daath— The three pillars supporting the Sephirothic 
Tree— The four letters of the Sacred Name. 


Gematria, Notarikon, and Temurah— The Elohim— The four Adams— Arabian traditions 


concerning Adam— Adam as the archetype of mankind— The early Christian Church on 
the subject of marriage. 


The origin of playing cards— The rota mundi of the Rosicrucians— The problem of Tarot 
symbolism— The unnumbered card— The symbolism of the twenty-one major trumps— 
The suit cards. 


Moses, the Egyptian initiate— The building of the Tabernacle— The furnishings of the 133 
Tabernacle— The Ark of the Covenant— The Robes of Glory— The Urim and Thummim. 


The life of Father C.R.C.— Johann Valentin Andreas— The alchemical teachings of the 
Rosicrucians— Significance of the Rose Cross— The Rosicrucian Temple— The adepts of 
the Rose Cross. 


The Confessio Fraternitatis—The Anatomy of Melancholy— John Heydon on 
Rosicrucianism— The three mountains of the wise— The philosophical egg— The objects 
of the Rosicrucian Order. 


Schamayim, the Ocean of Spirit— The Seven Days of Creation— The symbolic tomb of 
Christian Rosencreutz— The regions of the elements— The New Jerusalem— The grand 
secret of Nature. 


The multiplication of metals— The medal of Emperor Leopold I— Paracelsus of 149 
Hohenheim— Raymond Lully— Nicholas Flarnmel— Count Bernard of Treviso. 


The origin of alchemical philosophy— Alexander the Great and the talking trees— Nature 153 
and art— Alchemical symbolism— The Song of Solomon— The Philosopher's Gold. 


The alchemical prayer— The Emerald Tablet of Hermes— A letter from the Brothers of 
R.C.— The magical Mountain of the Moon— An alchemical formula— The dew of the 


Christian Rosencreutz is invited to the Chemical Wedding— The Virgo Lucifera— The 
philosophical Inquisition— The Tower of Olympus— The homunculi— The Knights of the 
Golden Stone. 


The Rosicrucian mask— Life of William Shakspere— Sir Francis Bacon— The acrostic 165 

signatures— The significant number thirty-three— The philosophic death. 


Secret alphabets—The biUteral cipher—Pictorial ciphers— Acroamatic ciphers- 
Numerical and musical ciphers— Code ciphers. 


The pillars raised by the sons of Seth— Enoch and the Royal Arches— The Dionysiac 
Architects— The Roman Collegia— Solomon, the personification of Universal Wisdom— ^'^^ 
Freemasonry's priceless heritage. 

St. Iranseus on the life of Christ— The original name of Jesus— The Christened man— 177 
The Essenes— The Arthurian cycle— Merlin the Mage. 


The Aurea Legenda— The lost libraries of Alexandria— The cross in pagan S5niibolism— 
The crucifixion, a cosmic allegory— The crucifixion of Quetzalcoatl— The nails of the 


The sacred city of Ephesus— The authorship of the Apocalypse— The Alpha and Omega- 185 
-The Lamb of God-The Four Horsemen-The number of the beast. 


The life of Mohammed— The revelation of the Koran— The valedictory pilgrimage— The 189 
tomb of the Prophet— The Caaba at Mecca— The secret doctrine of Islam. 


The ceremony of the peace pipe— The historical Hiawatha— The Popol Vu/i— American 193 
Indian sorcery— The Mysteries of Xibalba— The Midewiwin. 


The Golden Chain of Homer— Hypatia, the Alexandrian Neo-Platonist— The "divine" 
Cagliostro— The Comte de St. -Germain— The designing of the American flag— The "^^^ 
Declaration of Independence. 

INDEX 207 

p. 12 p. 13 


PHILOSOPHY is the science of estimating values. The superiority of any state or substance over 
another is determined by philosophy. By assigning a position of primary importance to what remains 
when all that is secondary has been removed, philosophy thus becomes the true index of priority or 
emphasis in the realm of speculative thought. The mission of philosophy a priori is to establish the 
relation of manifested things to their invisible ultimate cause or nature. 

"Philosophy," writes Sir William Hamilton, "has been defined [as]: The science of things divine and 
human, and of the causes in which they are contained [Cicero]; The science of effects by their causes 
[Hobbes]; The science of sufficient reasons [Leibnitz]; The science of things possible, inasmuch as 
they are possible [Wolf]; The science of things evidently deduced from first principles [Descartes]; 
The science of truths, sensible and abstract [de Condillac]; The application of reason to its legitimate 
objects [Tennemann]; The science of the relations of all knowledge to the necessary ends of human 
reason [Kant];The science of the original form of the ego or mental self [Krug]; The science of 
sciences [Fichte]; The science of the absolute [von Schelling]; The science of the absolute indifference 
of the ideal and real [von Schelling] —or. The identity of identity and non-identity [Hegel]." (See 
Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic.) 

The six headings under which the disciplines of philosophy are commonly classified are: metaphysics, 
which deals v^th such abstract subjects as cosmology, theology, and the nature of being; logic, which 
deals with the laws governing rational thinking, or, as it has been called, "the doctrine of fallacies"; 
ethics, which is the science of morality, individual responsibility, and character— concerned chiefly 
with an effort to determine the nature of good; psychology, which is devoted to investigation and 
classification of those forms of phenomena referable to a mental origin; epistemology, which is the 
science concerned primarily with the nature of knowledge itself and the question of whether it may 
exist in an absolute form; and aesthetics, which is the science of the nature of and the reactions 
awakened by the beautiful, the harmonious, the elegant, and the noble. 

Plato regarded philosophy as the greatest good ever imparted by Divinity to man. In the twentieth 
century, however, it has become a ponderous and complicated structure of arbitrary and 
irreconcilable notions—yet each substantiated by almost incontestible logic. The lofty theorems of the 
old Academy which lamblichus likened to the nectar and ambrosia of the gods have been so 
adulterated by opinion—which Heraclitus declared to be a falling sickness of the mind— that the 
heavenly mead would now be quite unrecognizable to this great Neo-Platonist. Convincing evidence 
of the increasing superficiality of modern scientific and philosophic thought is its persistent drift 
towards materialism. When the great astronomer Laplace was asked by Napoleon why he had not 
mentioned God in his Traite de la Mecanique Celeste, the mathematician naively replied: "Sire, I had 
no need for that hypothesis!" 

In his treatise on Atheism, Sir Francis Bacon tersely summarizes the situation thus: "A little 
philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to 
religion." The Metaphysics of Aristotle opens with these words: "All men naturally desire to know." To 
satisfy this common urge the unfolding human intellect has explored the extremities of imaginable 
space without and the extremities of imaginable self within, seeking to estimate the relationship 
between the one and the all; the effect and the cause; Nature and the groundwork of Nature; the mind 
and the source of the mind; the spirit and the substance of the spirit; the illusion and the reality. 

An ancient philosopher once said: "He who has not even a knowledge of common things is a brute 
among men. He who has an accurate knowledge of human concerns alone is a man among brutes. But 

he who knows all that can be known by intellectual energy, is a God among men." Man's status in the 

natural world is determined, therefore, by the quality of his thinking. He whose mind is enslaved to 
his bestial instincts is philosophically not superior to the brute-, he whose rational faculties ponder 
human affairs is a man; and he whose intellect is elevated to the consideration of divine realities is 
already a demigod, for his being partakes of the luminosity with which his reason has brought him 
into proximity. In his encomium of "the science of sciences" Cicero is led to exclaim: "O philosophy, 
life's guide! O searcher— out of virtue and expeller of vices! What could we and every age of men have 
been without thee? Thou hast produced cities; thou hast called men scattered about into the social 
enjoyment of life." 

In this age the word philosophy has little meaning unless accompanied by some other qualifying term. 
The body of philosophy has been broken up into numerous isms more or less antagonistic, which 
have become so concerned with the effort to disprove each other's fallacies that the sublimer issues of 
divine order and human destiny have suffered deplorable neglect. The ideal function of philosophy is 
to serve as the stabilizing influence in human thought. By virtue of its intrinsic nature it should 
prevent man from ever establishing unreasonable codes of life. Philosophers themselves, however, 
have frustrated the ends of philosophy by exceeding in their woolgathering those untrained minds 
whom they are supposed to lead in the straight and narrow path of rational thinking. To list and 
classify any but the more important of the now recognized schools of philosophy is beyond the space 
limitations of this volume. The vast area of speculation covered by philosophy will be appreciated best 
after a brief consideration of a few of the outstanding systems of philosophic discipline which have 
swayed the world of thought during the last twenty-six centuries. The Greek school of philosophy had 
its inception with the seven immortalized thinkers upon whom was first conferred the appellation of 
Sophos, "the wise." According to Diogenes Laertius, these were Thales, Solon, Chilon, Pittacus, Bias, 
Cleobulus, and Periander. Water was conceived by Thales to be the primal principle or element, upon 
which the earth floated like a ship, and earthquakes were the result of disturbances in this universal 
sea. Since Thales was an Ionian, the school perpetuating his tenets became known as the Ionic. He 
died in 546 B.C., and was succeeded by Anaximander, who in turn was followed by Anaximenes, 
Anaxagoras, and Archelaus, with whom the Ionic school ended. Anaximander, differing from his 
master Thales, declared measureless and indefinable infinity to be the principle from which all things 
were generated. Anaximenes asserted air to be the first element of the universe; that souls and even 
the Deity itself were composed of it. 

Anaxagoras (whose doctrine savors of atomism) held God to be an infinite self -moving mind; that this 
divine infinite Mind, not 


From Babbitt's Principles of Light and Color. 

Since the postulation of the atomic theory by Democritus, many efforts have been made to determine the structure of 
atoms and the method by which they unite to form various elements, Even science has not refrained from entering this 
field of speculation and presents for consideration most detailed and elaborate representations of these minute bodies. By 
far the most remarkable conception of the atom evolved during the last century is that produced by the genius of Dr. 
Edwin D. Babbitt and which is reproduced herewith. The diagram is self-explanatory. It must be borne in mind that this 
apparently massive structure is actually s minute as to defy analysis. Not only did Dr. Babbitt create this form of the atom 
but he also contrived a method whereby these particles could be grouped together in an orderly manner and thus result in 
the formation of molecular bodies. 

p. 14 

inclosed in any body, is the efficient cause of all things; out of the infinite matter consisting of similar 
parts, everything being made according to its species by the divine mind, who when all things were at 
first confusedly mingled together, came and reduced them to order." Archelaus declared the principle 
of all things to be twofold: mind (which was incorporeal) and air (which was corporeal), the 
rarefaction and condensation of the latter resulting in fire and water respectively. The stars were 
conceived by Archelaus to be burning iron places. Heraclitus (who lived 536-470 B.C. and is 
sometimes included in the Ionic school) in his doctrine of change and eternal flux asserted fire to be 

the first element and also the state into which the world would ultimately be reabsorbed. The soul of 
the world he regarded as an exhalation from its humid parts, and he declared the ebb and flow of the 
sea to be caused by the sun. 

After Pjithagoras of Samos, its founder, the Italic or Pythagorean school numbers among its most 
distinguished representatives Empedocles, Epicharmus, Archytas, Alcmseon, Hippasus, Philolaus, 
and Eudoxus. Pythagoras (580-500? B.C.) conceived mathematics to be the most sacred and exact of 
all the sciences, and demanded of all who came to him for study a familiarity with arithmetic, music, 
astronomy, and geometry. He laid special emphasis upon the philosophic life as a prerequisite to 
wisdom. Pythagoras was one of the first teachers to establish a community wherein all the members 
were of mutual assistance to one another in the common attainment of the higher sciences. He also 
introduced the discipline of retrospection as essential to the development of the spiritual mind. 
Pjithagoreanism may be summarized as a system of metaphysical speculation concerning the 
relationships between numbers and the causal agencies of existence. This school also first expounded 
the theory of celestial harmonics or "the music of the spheres." John Reuchlin said of Pythagoras that 
he taught nothing to his disciples before the discipline of silence, silence being the first rudiment of 
contemplation. In his Sophist, Aristotle credits Empedocles with the discovery of rhetoric. Both 
Pythagoras and Empedocles accepted the theory of transmigration, the latter saying: "A boy I was, 
then did a maid become; a plant, bird, fish, and in the vast sea swum." Archytas is credited with 
invention of the screw and the crane. Pleasure he declared to be a pestilence because it was opposed 
to the temperance of the mind; he considered a man without deceit to be as rare as a fish without 

The Eleatic sect was founded by Xenophanes (570-480 B.C.), who was conspicuous for his attacks 
upon the cosmologic and theogonic fables of Homer and Hesiod. Xenophanes declared that God was 
"one and incorporeal, in substance and figure round, in no way resembling man; that He is all sight 
and all hearing, but breathes not; that He is all things, the mind and wisdom, not generate but eternal, 
impassible, immutable, and rational." Xenophanes believed that all existing things were eternal, that 
the world was without beginning or end, and that everything which was generated was subject to 
corruption. He lived to great age and is said to have buried his sons with his own hands. Parmenides 
studied under Xenophanes, but never entirely subscribed to his doctrines. Parmenides declared the 
senses to be uncertain and reason the only criterion of truth. He first asserted the earth to be round 
and also divided its surface into zones of hear and cold. 

Melissus, who is included in the Eleatic school, held many opinions in common with Parmenides. He 
declared the universe to be immovable because, occupying all space, there was no place to which it 
could be moved. He further rejected the theory of a vacuum in space. Zeno of Elea also maintained 
that a vacuum could not exist. Rejecting the theory of motion, he asserted that there was but one God, 
who was an eternal, ungenerated Being. Like Xenophanes, he conceived Deity to be spherical in shape. 
Leucippus held the Universe to consist of two parts: one full and the other a vacuum. From the 
Infinite a host of minute fragmentary bodies descended into the vacuum, where, through continual 
agitation, they organized themselves into spheres of substance. 

The great Democritus to a certain degree enlarged upon the atomic theory of Leucippus. Democritus 
declared the principles of all things to be twofold: atoms and vacuum. Both, he asserted, are infinite- 
atoms in number, vacuum in magnitude. Thus all bodies must be composed of atoms or vacuum. 
Atoms possessed two properties, form and size, both characterized by infinite variety. The soul 
Democritus also conceived to be atomic in structure and subject to dissolution with the body. The 
mind he believed to be composed of spiritual atoms. Aristotle intimates that Democritus obtained his 
atomic theory from the Pythagorean doctrine of the Monad. Among the Eleatics are also included 
Protagoras and Anaxarchus. 

Socrates (469-399 B.C.), the founder of the Socratic sect, being fundamentally a Skeptic, did not force 
his opinions upon others, but through the medium of questionings caused each man to give 
expression to his own philosophy. According to Plutarch, Socrates conceived every place as 
appropriate for reaching in that the whole world was a school of virtue. He held that the soul existed 
before the body and, prior to immersion therein, was endowed with all knowledge; that when the soul 
entered into the material form it became stupefied, but that by discourses upon sensible objects it was 
caused to reawaken and to recover its original knowledge. On these premises was based his attempt 
to stimulate the soul-power through irony and inductive reasoning. It has been said of Socrates that 
the sole subject of his philosophy was man. He himself declared philosophy to be the way of true 
happiness and its purpose twofold: (1) to contemplate God, and (2) to abstract the soul from 
corporeal sense. 

The principles of all things he conceived to be three in number: God, matter, and ideas. Of God he 
said: "What He is I know not; what He is not I know." Matter he defined as the subject of generation 
and corruption; idea, as an incorruptible substance—the intellect of God. Wisdom he considered the 
sum of the virtues. Among the prominent members of the Socratic sect were Xenophon, ^Eschines, 
Crito, Simon, Glauco, Simmias, and Cebes. Professor Zeller, the great authority on ancient 
philosophies, has recently declared the writings of Xenophon relating to Socrates to be forgeries. 
When The Clouds of Aristophanes, a comedy written to ridicule the theories of Socrates, was first 
presented, the great Skeptic himself attended the play. During the performance, which caricatured 
him seated in a basket high in the air studying the sun, Socrates rose calmly in his seat, the better to 
enable the Athenian spectators to compare his own unprepossessing features with the grotesque 
mask worn by the actor impersonating him. 

The Elean sect was founded by Phaedo of Elis, a youth of noble family, who was bought from slavery 
at the instigation of Socrates and who became his devoted disciple. Plato so highly admired Phaedo's 
mentality that he named one of the most famous of his discourses The Phaedo. Phaedo was succeeded 
in his school by Plisthenes, who in turn was followed by Menedemus. Of the doctrines of the Elean 
sect little is known. Menedemus is presumed to have been inclined toward the teachings of Stilpo and 
the Megarian sect. When Menedemus' opinions were demanded, he answered that he was free, thus 
intimating that most men were enslaved to their opinions. Menedemus was apparently of a somewhat 
belligerent temperament and often returned from his lectures in a badly bruised condition. The most 
famous of his propositions is stated thus: That which is not the same is different from that with which 
it is not the same. This point being admitted, Menedemus continued: To benefit is not the same as 
good, therefore good does not benefit. After the time of Menedemus the Elean sect became known as 
the Eretrian. Its exponents denounced all negative propositions and all complex and abstruse theories, 
declaring that only affirmative and simple doctrines could be true. 

The Megarian sect was founded by Euclid of Megara (not the celebrated mathematician), a great 
admirer of Socrates. The Athenians passed a law decreeing death to any citizen of Megara found in 
the city of Athens. Nothing daunted, Euclid donned woman's clothing and went at night to study with 
Socrates. After the cruel death of their teacher, the disciples of Socrates, fearing a similar fate, fled to 
Megara, where they were entertained with great honor by Euclid. The Megarian school accepted the 
Socratic doctrine that virtue is wisdom, adding to it the Eleatic concept that goodness is absolute 
unity and all change an illusion of the senses. Euclid maintained that good has no opposite and 
therefore evil does not exist. Being asked about the nature of the gods, he declared himself ignorant of 
their disposition save that they hated curious persons. 

The Megarians are occasionally included among the dialectic philosophers. Euclid (who died 374? 
B.C.) was succeeded in his school by Eubulides, among whose disciples were Alexinus and Apollonius 
Cronus. Euphantus, who lived to great age and wrote many tragedies, was among the foremost 
followers of Eubulides. Diodorus is usually included in the Megarian school, having heard Eubulides 

lecture. According to legend, Diodorus died of grief because he could not answer instantly certain 
questions asked him by Stilpo, at one time master of the Megarian school. Diodorus held that nothing 


From Thomasin's Recuil des Figures, Groupes, Thermes, Fontaines, Vases et autres Ornaments. 

Plato's real name was Aristocles. When his father brought him to study with Socrates, the great Skeptic declared that on 
the previous night he had dreamed of a white swan, which was an omen that his new disciple was to become one of the 
world's illumined. There is a tradition that the immortal Plato was sold as a slave by the King of Sicily. 


can be moved, since to be moved it must be taken out of the place in which it is and put into the place 
where it is not, which is impossible because all things must always be in the places where they are. 

The Cynics were a sect founded by Antisthenes of Athens (444-365? B.C.), a disciple of Socrates. 
Their doctrine may be described as an extreme individualism which considers man as existing for 
himself alone and advocates surrounding him by inharmony, suffering, and direst need that be may 
thereby be driven to retire more completely into his own nature. The Cynics renounced all worldly 
possessions, living in the rudest shelters and subsisting upon the coarsest and simplest food. On the 
assumption that the gods wanted nothing, the Cynics affirmed that those whose needs were fewest 
consequently approached closest to the divinities. Being asked what he gained by a life of philosophy, 
Antisthenes replied that he had learned how to converse with himself. 

Diogenes of Sinopis is remembered chiefly for the tub in the Metroum which for many years served 
him as a home. The people of Athens loved the beggar-philosopher, and when a youth in jest bored 
holes in the tub, the city presented Diogenes with a new one and punished the youth. Diogenes 
believed that nothing in life can be rightly accomplished without exercitation. He maintained that 
everything in the world belongs to the wise, a declaration which he proved by the following logic: "All 
things belong to the gods; the gods are friends to wise persons; all things are common amongst 

friends; therefore all things belong to the wise." Among the Cynics are Monimus, Onesicritus, Crates, 
Metrocles, Hipparchia (who married Crates), Menippus, and Menedemus. 

The Cyrenaic sect, founded by Aristippus of Cyrene (435-356? B.C.), promulgated the doctrine of 
hedonism. Learning of the fame of Socrates, Aristippus journeyed to Athens and applied himself to 
the teachings of the great Skeptic. Socrates, pained by the voluptuous and mercenary tendencies of 
Aristippus, vainly labored to reform the young man. Aristippus has the distinction of being consistent 
in principle and practice, for he lived in perfect harmony with his philosophy that the quest of 
pleasure was the chief purpose of life. The doctrines of the Cyrenaics maybe summarized thus: All 
that is actually known concerning any object or condition is the feeling which it awakens in man's 
own nature. In the sphere of ethics that which awakens the most pleasant feeling is consequently to 
be esteemed as the greatest good. Emotional reactions are classified as pleasant or gentle, harsh, and 
mean. The end of pleasant emotion is pleasure; the end of harsh emotion, grief; the end of mean 
emotion, nothing. 

Through mental perversity some men do not desire pleasure. In reality, however, pleasure (especially 
of a physical nature) is the true end of existence and exceeds in every way mental and spiritual 
enjoyments. Pleasure, furthermore, is limited wholly to the moment; now is the only time. The past 
cannot be regarded without regret and the future cannot be faced without misgiving; therefore 
neither is conducive to pleasure. No man should grieve, for grief is the most serious of all diseases. 
Nature permits man to do anything he desires; he is limited only by his own laws and customs. A 
philosopher is one free from envy, love, and superstition, and whose days are one long round of 
pleasure. Indulgence was thus elevated by Aristippus to the chief position among the virtues. He 
further declared philosophers to differ markedly from other men in that they alone would not change 
the order of their lives if all the laws of men were abolished. Among prominent philosophers 
influenced by the Cyrenaic doctrines were Hegesias, Anniceris, Theodoras, and Bion. 

The sect of the Academic philosophers instituted by Plato (427-347 B.C.) was divided into three major 
parts—the old, the middle, and the new Academy. Among the old Academics were Speusippus, 
Zenocrates, Poleman, Crates, and Crantor. Arcesilaus instituted the middle Academy and Carneades 
founded the new. Chief among the masters of Plato was Socrates. Plato traveled widely and was 
initiated by the Egyptians into the profundities of Hermetic philosophy. He also derived much from 
the doctrines of the Pj^hagoreans. Cicero describes the threefold constitution of Platonic philosophy 
as comprising ethics, physics, and dialectics. Plato defined good as threefold in character: good in the 
soul, expressed through the virtues; good in the body, expressed through the symmetry and 
endurance of the parts; and good in the external world, expressed through social position and 
companionship. In The Book of Speusippus on Platonic Definitions, that great Platonist thus defines 
God: "A being that lives immortally by means of Himself alone, sufficing for His own blessedness, the 
eternal Essence, cause of His own goodness. According to Plato, the One is the term most suitable for 
defining the Absolute, since the whole precedes the parts and diversity is dependent on unity, but 
unity not on diversity. The One, moreover, is before being, for to be is an attribute or condition of the 

Platonic philosophy is based upon the postulation of three orders of being: that which moves 
unmoved, that which is self -moved, and that which is moved. That which is immovable but moves is 
anterior to that which is self-moved, which likewise is anterior to that which it moves. That in which 
motion is inherent cannot be separated from its motive power; it is therefore incapable of dissolution. 
Of such nature are the immortals. That which has motion imparted to it from another can be 
separated from the source of its an animating principle; it is therefore subject to dissolution. Of such 
nature are mortal beings. Superior to both the mortals and the immortals is that condition which 
continually moves yet itself is unmoved. To this constitution the power of abidance is inherent; it is 
therefore the Divine Permanence upon which all things are established. Being nobler even than self- 
motion, the unmoved Mover is the first of all dignities. The Platonic discipline was founded upon the 

theory that learning is really reminiscence, or the bringing into objectivity of knowledge formerly 
acquired by the soul in a previous state of existence. At the entrance of the Platonic school in the 
Academy were written the words: "Let none ignorant of geometry enter here." 

After the death of Plato, his disciples separated into two groups. One, the Academics, continued to 
meet in the Academy where once he had presided; the other, the Peripatetics, removed to the Lyceum 
under the leadership of Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). Plato recognized Aristotle as his greatest disciple 
and, according to Philoponus, referred to him as "the mind of the school." If Aristotle were absent 
from the lectures, Plato would say: "The intellect is not here." Of the prodigious genius of Aristotle, 
Thomas Taylor writes in his introduction to The Metaphysics: 

"When we consider that he was not only well acquainted with every science, as his works abundantly 
evince, but that he wrote on almost every subject which is comprehended in the circle of human 
knowledge, and this with matchless accuracy and skill, we know not which to admire most, the 
penetration or extent of his mind." 


From Kircher's Ars Magna Sciendi. 

In the above diagram Kircher arranges eighteen objects in two vertical columns and then determines he number of 
arrangements in which they can be combined. By the same method Kircher further estimates that fifty objects may be 
arranged in 1,273,726,838,815,420,339,851,343,083,767,005,515,293,749,454,795,408,000,000,000,000 combinations. 
From this it will be evident that infinite diversity is possible, for the countless parts of the universe may be related to each 
other in an incalculable number of ways; and through the various combinations of these limitless subdivisions of being. 

infinite individuality and infinite variety must inevitably result. Thus it is fiirther evident that life can never become 
monotonous or exhaust the possibilities of variety. 

p. 16 

Of the philosophy of Aristotle, the same author says: "The end of Aristotle's moral philosophy is 
perfection through the virtues, and the end of his contemplative philosophy an union with the one 
principle of all things." 

Aristotle conceived philosophy to be twofold: practical and theoretical. Practical philosophy 
embraced ethics and politics; theoretical philosophy, physics and logic. Metaphysics he considered to 
be the science concerning that substance which has the principle of motion and rest inherent to itself. 
To Aristotle the soul is that by which man first lives, feels, and understands. Hence to the soul he 
assigned three faculties: nutritive, sensitive, and intellective. He further considered the soul to be 
twofold—rational and irrational—and in some particulars elevated the sense perceptions above the 
mind. Aristotle defined wisdom as the science of first Causes. The four major divisions of his 
philosophy are dialectics, physics, ethics, and metaphysics. God is defined as the First Mover, the Best 
of beings, an immovable Substance, separate from sensible things, void of corporeal quantity, without 
parts and indivisible. Platonism is based upon a priori reasoning; Aristotelianism upon a posteriori 
reasoning. Aristotle taught his pupil, Alexander the Great, to feel that if he had not done a good deed 
he had not reigned that day. Among his followers were Theophrastus, Strato, Lyco, Aristo, Critolaus, 
and Diodorus. 

Of Skepticism as propounded by Pyrrho of Elis (365-275 B.C.) and by Timon, Sextus Empiricus said 
that those who seek must find or deny they have found or can find, or persevere in the inquiry. Those 
who suppose they have found truth are called Dogmatists; those who think it incomprehensible are 
the Academics; those who still seek are the Skeptics. The attitude of Skepticism towards the knowable 
is summed up by Sextus Empiricus in the following words: "But the chief ground of Skepticism is that 
to every reason there is an opposite reason equivalent, which makes us forbear to dogmatize." The 
Skeptics were strongly opposed to the Dogmatists and were agnostic in that they held the accepted 
theories regarding Deity to be self-contradictory and undemonstrable. "How," asked the Skeptic, "can 
we have indubitate knowledge of God, knowing not His substance, form or place; for, while 
philosophers disagree irreconcilably on these points, their conclusions cannot be considered as 
undoubtedly true?" Since absolute knowledge was considered unattainable, the Skeptics declared the 
end of their discipline to be: "In opinionatives, indisturbance; in impulsives, moderation; and in 
disquietives, suspension." 

The sect of the Stoics was founded by Zeno (340-265 B.C.), the Cittiean, who studied under Crates the 
Cynic, from which sect the Stoics had their origin. Zeno was succeeded by Cleanthes, Chrysippus, 
Zeno of Tarsis, Diogenes, Antipater, Panaetius, and Posidonius. Most famous of the Roman Stoics are 
Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. The Stoics were essentially pantheists, since they maintained that as 
there is nothing better than the world, the world is God. Zeno declared that the reason of the world is 
diffused throughout it as seed. Stoicism is a materialistic philosophy, enjoining voluntary resignation 
to natural law. Chrysippus maintained that good and evil being contrary, both are necessary since 
each sustains the other. The soul was regarded as a body distributed throughout the physical form 
and subject to dissolution with it. Though some of the Stoics held that wisdom prolonged the 
existence of the soul, actual immortality is not included in their tenets. The soul was said to be 
composed of eight parts: the five senses, the generative power, the vocal power, and an eighth, or 
hegemonic, part. Nature was defined as God mixed throughout the substance of the world. All things 
were looked upon as bodies either corporeal or incorporeal. 

Meekness marked the attitude of the Stoic philosopher. While Diogenes was delivering a discourse 
against anger, one of his listeners spat contemptuously in his face. Receiving the insult with humility. 

the great Stoic was moved to retort: "I am not angry, but am in doubt whether I ought to be so or 

Epicurus of Samos (341-270 B.C.) was the founder of the Epicurean sect, which in many respects 
resembles the Cyrenaic but is higher in its ethical standards. The Epicureans also posited pleasure as 
the most desirable state, but conceived it to be a grave and dignified state achieved through 
renunciation of those mental and emotional inconstancies which are productive of pain and sorrow. 
Epicurus held that as the pains of the mind and soul are more grievous than those of the body, so the 
joys of the mind and soul exceed those of the body. The Cyrenaics asserted pleasure to be dependent 
upon action or motion; the Epicureans claimed rest or lack of action to be equally productive of 
pleasure. Epicurus accepted the philosophy of Democritus concerning the nature of atoms and based 
his physics upon this theory. The Epicurean philosophy may be summed up in four canons: 

"(1) Sense is never deceived; and therefore every sensation and every perception of an appearance is 
true. (2) Opinion follows upon sense and is superadded to sensation, and capable of truth or 
falsehood, (3) All opinion attested, or not contradicted by the evidence of sense, is true. (4) An 
opinion contradicted, or not attested by the evidence of sense, is false." Among the Epicureans of note 
were Metrodorus of Lampsacus, Zeno of Sidon, and Phaedrus. 

Eclecticism may be defined as the practice of choosing apparently irreconcilable doctrines from 
antagonistic schools and constructing therefrom a composite philosophic system in harmony with the 
convictions of the eclectic himself. Eclecticism can scarcely be considered philosophically or logically 
sound, for as individual schools arrive at their conclusions by different methods of reasoning, so the 
philosophic product of fragments from these schools must necessarily be built upon the foundation of 
conflicting premises. Eclecticism, accordingly, has been designated the layman's cult. In the Roman 
Empire little thought was devoted to philosophic theory; consequently most of its thinkers were of the 
eclectic type. Cicero is the outstanding example of early Eclecticism, for his writings are a veritable 
potpourri of invaluable fragments from earlier schools of thought. Eclecticism appears to have had its 
inception at the moment when men first doubted the possibility of discovering ultimate truth. 
Observing all so-called knowledge to be mere opinion at best, the less studious furthermore 
concluded that the wiser course to pursue was to accept that which appeared to be the most 
reasonable of the teachings of any school or individual. From this practice, however, arose a pseudo- 
broadmindedness devoid of the element of preciseness found in true logic and philosophy. 

The Neo-Pythagorean school flourished in Alexandria during the first century of the Christian Era. 
Only two names stand out in connection with it~Apollonius of Tyana and Moderatus of Gades. Neo- 
Pythagoreanism is a link between the older pagan philosophies and Neo-Platonism. Like the former, 
it contained many exact elements of thought derived from Pythagoras and Plato; like the latter, it 
emphasized metaphysical speculation and ascetic habits. A striking similarity has been observed by 
several authors between Neo-Pythagoreanism and the doctrines of the Essenes. Special emphasis was 
laid upon the mystery of numbers, and it is possible that the Neo-Pythagoreans had a far wider 
knowledge of the true teachings of Pythagoras than is available today. Even in the first century 
Pythagoras was regarded more as a god than a man, and the revival of his philosophy was resorted to 
apparently in the hope that his name would stimulate interest in the deeper systems of learning. But 
Greek philosophy had passed the zenith of its splendor; the mass of humanity was awakening to the 
importance of physical life and physical phenomena. The emphasis upon earthly affairs which began 
to assert itself later reached maturity of expression in twentieth century materialism and 


From Virgil's ^neid. (Dryden's translation.) 

Virgil describes part of the ritual of a Greek Mystery—possibly the Eleusinian~in his account of the descent of ^neas, to 
the gate of hell under the guidance of the Sibyl. Of that part of the ritual portrayed above the immortal poet writes: 

"Full in the midst of this infernal Road, 
An Elm displays her dusky Arms abroad; 
The God of Sleep there hides his heavy Head 
And empty Dreams on ev'ry Leaf are spread. 
Of various Forms, unnumber'd Specters more; 
Centaurs, and double Shapes, besiege the Door: 
Before the Passage horrid Hydra stands. 
And Briareus with all his hundred Hands: 
Gorgons, Geryon with his triple Frame; 
And vain Chimsera vomits empty Flame. 
The Chief unsheath'd his shining Steel, prepar'd, 
Tho seiz'd with sudden Fear, to force the Guard. 
Off ring his brandish'd Weapon at their Face, 
Had not the Sibyl stop'd his eager Pace, 
And told him what those empty Phantoms were; 
Forms without Bodies, and impassive Air." 

p. 17 

even though Neo-Platonism was to intervene and many centuries pass before this emphasis took 
definite form. 

Although Ammonius Saccus was long believed to be the founder of Neo-Platonism, the school had its 
true beginning in Plotinus (A.D. 204-269?). Prominent among the Neo-Platonists of Alexandria, Syria, 
Rome, and Athens were Porphyry, lamblichus, Sallustius, the Emperor Julian, Plutarch, and Proclus. 
Neo-Platonism was the supreme effort of decadent pagandom to publish and thus preserve for 
posterity its secret (or unwritten) doctrine. In its teachings ancient idealism found its most perfect 
expression. Neo-Platonism was concerned almost exclusively with the problems of higher 

metaphysics. It recognized the existence of a secret and all-important doctrine which from the time of 
the earliest civilizations had been concealed within the rituals, symbols, and allegories of religions 
and philosophies. To the mind unacquainted with its fundamental tenets, Neo-Platonism may appear 
to be a mass of speculations interspersed with extravagant flights of fancy. Such a viewpoint, however, 
ignores the institutions of the Mysteries—those secret schools into whose profundities of idealism 
nearly all of the first philosophers of antiquity were initiated. 

When the physical body of pagan thought collapsed, an attempt was made to resurrect the form by 
instilling new life into it by the unveiling of its mystical truths. This effort apparently was barren of 
results. Despite the antagonism, however, between pristine Christianity and Neo-Platonism many 
basic tenets of the latter were accepted by the former and woven into the fabric of Patristic philosophy. 
Briefly described, Neo-Platonism is a philosophic code which conceives every physical or concrete 
body of doctrine to be merely the shell of a spiritual verity which may be discovered through 
meditation and certain exercises of a mystic nature. In comparison to the esoteric spiritual truths 
which they contain, the corporeal bodies of religion and philosophy were considered relatively of little 
value. Likewise, no emphasis was placed upon the material sciences. 

The term Patristic is employed to designate the philosophy of the Fathers of the early Christian 
Church. Patristic philosophy is divided into two general epochs: ante-Nicene and post-Nicene. The 
ante-Nicene period in the main was devoted to attacks upon paganism and to apologies and defenses 
of Christianity. The entire structure of pagan philosophy was assailed and the dictates of faith 
elevated above those of reason. In some instances efforts were made to reconcile the evident truths of 
paganism with Christian revelation. Eminent among the ante-Nicene Fathers were St. Irenseus, 
Clement of Alexandria, and Justin Martyr. In the post-Nicene period more emphasis was placed upon 
the unfoldment of Christian philosophy along Platonic and Neo-Platonic lines, resulting in the 
appearance of many strange documents of a lengthy, rambling, and ambiguous nature, nearly all of 
which were philosophically unsound. The post-Nicene philosophers included Athanasius, Gregory of 
Nyssa, and Cyril of Alexandria. The Patristic school is notable for its emphasis upon the supremacy of 
man throughout the universe. Man was conceived to be a separate and divine creation—the crowning 
achievement of Deity and an exception to the suzerainty of natural law. To the Patristics it was 
inconceivable that there should ever exist another creature so noble, so fortunate, or so able as man, 
for whose sole benefit and edification all the kingdoms of Nature were primarily created. 

Patristic philosophy culminated in Augustinianism, which may best be defined as Christian 
Platonism. Opposing the Pelasgian doctrine that man is the author of his own salvation, 
Augustinianism elevated the church and its dogmas to a position of absolute infallibility— a position 
which it successfully maintained until the Reformation. Gnosticism, a system of emanationism, 
interpreting Christianity in terms of Greek, Egj^tian, and Persian metaphysics, appeared in the latter 
part of the first century of the Christian Era. Practically all the information extant regarding the 
Gnostics and their doctrines, stigmatized as heresy by the ante-Nicene Church Fathers, is derived 
from the accusations made against them, particularly from the writings of St. Irengeus. In the third 
century appeared Manichseism, a dualistic system of Persian origin, which taught that Good and Evil 
were forever contending for universal supremacy. In Manichseism, Christ is conceived to be the 
Principle of redeeming Good in contradistinction to the man Jesus, who was viewed as an evil 

The death of Boethius in the sixth century marked the close of the ancient Greek school of philosophy. 
The ninth century saw the rise of the new school of Scholasticism, which sought to reconcile 
philosophy with theology. Representative of the main divisions of the Scholastic school were the 
Eclecticism of John of Salisbury, the Mysticism of Bernard of Clairvaux and St. Bonaventura, the 
Rationalism of Peter Abelard, and the pantheistic Mysticism of Meister Eckhart. Among the Arabian 
Aristotelians were Avicenna and Averroes. The zenith of Scholasticism was reached with the advent of 
Albertus Magnus and his illustrious disciple, St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomism (the philosophy of St. 

Thomas Aquinas, sometimes referred to as the Christian Aristotle) sought to reconcile the various 
factions of the Scholastic school. Thomism was basically Aristotelian with the added concept that 
faith is a projection of reason. 

Scotism, or the doctrine of Voluntarism promulgated by Joannes Duns Scotus, a Franciscan 
Scholastic, emphasized the power and efficacy of the individual will, as opposed to Thomism. The 
outstanding characteristic of Scholasticism was its frantic effort to cast all European thought in an 
Aristotelian mold. Eventually the Schoolmen descended to the level of mere wordmongers who 
picked the words of Aristotle so clean that nothing but the bones remained. It was this decadent 
school of meaningless verbiage against which Sir Francis Bacon directed his bitter shafts of irony and 
which he relegated to the potter's field of discarded notions. 

The Baconian, or inductive, system of reasoning (whereby facts are arrived at by a process of 
observation and verified by experimentation) cleared the way for the schools of modern science. 
Bacon was followed by Thomas Hobbes (for some time his secretary), who held mathematics to be the 
only exact science and thought to be essentially a mathematical process. Hobbes declared matter to 
be the only reality, and scientific investigation to be limited to the study of bodies, the phenomena 
relative to their probable causes, and the consequences which flow from them under every variety of 
circumstance. Hobbes laid special stress upon the significance of words, declaring understanding to 
be the faculty of perceiving the relationship between words and the objects for which they stand. 

Having broken away from the scholastic and theological schools, Post-Reformation, or modern, 
philosophy experienced a most prolific growth along many diverse lines. According to Humanism, 
man is the measure of all things; Rationalism makes the reasoning faculties the basis of all knowledge; 
Political Philosophy holds that man must comprehend his natural, social, and national privileges; 
Empiricism declares that alone to be true which is demonstrable by experiment or experience; 
Moralism emphasizes the necessity of right conduct as a fundamental philosophic tenet; Idealism 
asserts the realities of the universe to be superphysical—either mental or psychical; Realism, the 
reverse; and Phenomenalism restricts knowledge to facts or events which can be scientifically 
described or explained. The most recent developments in the field of philosophic thought are 
Behaviorism and Neo-Realism. The former estimates the intrinsic characteristics through an analysis 
of behavior; the latter maybe summed up as the total extinction of idealism. 

Baruch de Spinoza, the eminent Dutch philosopher, conceived God to be a substance absolutely self- 
existent and needing no other conception besides itself to render it complete and intelligible. The 
nature of this Being was held by Spinoza to be comprehensible only through its attributes, which are 
extension and thought: these combine 


From an old print, courtesy of Carl Oscar Borg. 

In ridiculing the geocentric system of astronomy expounded by Claudius Ptolemy, modem astronomers have overlooked 
the philosophic key to the Ptolemaic system. The universe of Ptolemy is a diagrammatic representation of the 
relationships existing between the various divine and elemental parts of every creature, and is not concerned with 
astronomy as that science is now comprehended. In the above figure, special attention is called to the three circles of 
zodiacs surrounding the orbits of the planets. These zodiacs represent the threefold spiritual constitution of the universe. 
The orbits of the planets are the Governors of the World and the four elemental spheres in the center represent the 
physical constitution of both man and the universe, Ptolemy's scheme of the universe is simply a cross section of the 
universal aura, the planets and elements to which he refers having no relation to those recognized by modern astronomers. 

p. 18 

to form an endless variety of aspects or modes. The mind of man is one of the modes of infinite 
thought; the body of man one of the modes of infinite extension. Through reason man is enabled to 
elevate himself above the illusionary world of the senses and find eternal repose in perfect union with 
the Divine Essence. Spinoza, it has been said, deprived God of all personality, making Deity 
synonymous with the universe. 

German philosophy had its inception with Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz, whose theories are 
permeated with the qualities of optimism and idealism. Leibnitz's criteria of sufficient reason 
revealed to him the insufficiency of Descartes' theory of extension, and he therefore concluded that 
substance itself contained an inherent power in the form of an incalculable number of separate and 
all-sufficient units. Matter reduced to its ultimate particles ceases to exist as a substantial body, being 
resolved into a mass of immaterial ideas or metaphysical units of power, to which Leibnitz applied the 

term monad. Thus the universe is composed of an infinite number of separate monadic entities 
unfolding spontaneously through the objectification of innate active qualities. All things are conceived 
as consisting of single monads of varying magnitudes or of aggregations of these bodies, which may 
exist as physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual substances. God is the first and greatest Monad; the 
spirit of man is an awakened monad in contradistinction to the lower kingdoms whose governing 
monadic powers are in a semi-dormant state. 

Though a product of the Leibnitzian-Wolfian school, Immanuel Kant, like Locke, dedicated himself to 
investigation of the powers and limits of human understanding. The result was his critical philosophy, 
embracing the critique of pure reason, the critique of practical reason, and the critique of judgment. 
Dr. W. J. Durant sums up Kant's philosophy in the concise statement that he rescued mind from 
matter. The mind Kant conceived to be the selector and coordinator of all perceptions, which in turn 
are the result of sensations grouping themselves about some external object. In the classification of 
sensations and ideas the mind employs certain categories: of sense, time and space; of understanding, 
quality, relation, modality, and causation; and the unity of apperception. Being subject to 
mathematical laws, time and space are considered absolute and sufficient bases for exact thinking. 
Kant's practical reason declared that while the nature of noumenon could never be comprehended by 
the reason, the fact of morality proves the existence of three necessary postulates: free will, 
immortality, and God. In the critique of judgment Kant demonstrates the union of the noumenon and 
the phenomenon in art and biological evolution. German superintellectualism is the outgrowth of an 
overemphasis of Kant's theory of the autocratic supremaq?^ of the mind over sensation and thought. 
The philosophy of Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a projection of Kant's philosophy, wherein he 
attempted to unite Kant's practical reason with his pure reason. Fichte held that the known is merely 
the contents of the consciousness of the knower, and that nothing can exist to the knower until it 
becomes part of those contents. Nothing is actually real, therefore, except the facts of one's own 
mental experience. 

Recognizing the necessity of certain objective realities, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling, who 
succeeded Fichte in the chair of philosophy at Jena, first employed the doctrine of identity as the 
groundwork for a complete system of philosophy. Whereas Fichte regarded self as the Absolute, von 
Schelling conceived infinite and eternal Mind to be the all-pervading Cause. Realization of the 
Absolute is made possible by intellectual intuition which, being a superior or spiritual sense, is able to 
dissociate itself from both subject and object. Kant's categories of space and time von Schelling 
conceived to be positive and negative respectively, and material existence the result of the reciprocal 
action of these two expressions. Von Schelling also held that the Absolute in its process of self- 
development proceeds according to a law or rhythm consisting of three movements. The first, a 
reflective movement, is the attempt of the Infinite to embody itself in the finite. The second, that of 
subsumption, is the attempt of the Absolute to return to the Infinite after involvement in the finite. 
The third, that of reason, is the neutral point wherein the two former movements are blended. 

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel considered the intellectual intuition of von Schelling to be 
philosophically unsound and hence turned his attention to the establishment of a system of 
philosophy based upon pure logic. Of Hegel it has been said that he began with nothing and showed 
with logical precision how everything had proceeded from it in logical order. Hegel elevated logic to a 
position of supreme importance, in fact as a quality of the Absolute itself. God he conceived to be a 
process of unfolding which never attains to the condition of unfoldment. In like manner, thought is 
without either beginning or end. Hegel further believed that all things owe their existence to their 
opposites and that all opposites are actually identical. Thus the only existence is the relationship of 
opposites to each other, through whose combinations new elements are produced. As the Divine 
Mind is an eternal process of thought never accomplished, Hegel assails the very foundation of 
theism and his philosophy limits immortality to the everflowing Deity alone. Evolution is 
consequently the never-ending flow of Divine Consciousness out of itself; all creation, though 
continually moving, never arrives at any state other than that of ceaseless flow. 

Johann Friedrich Herbart's philosophy was a reahstic reaction from the idealism of Fichte and von 
Schelling. To Herbart the true basis of philosophy was the great mass of phenomena continually 
moving through the human mind. Examination of phenomena, however, demonstrates that a great 
part of it is unreal, at least incapable of supplying the mind with actual truth. To correct the false 
impressions caused by phenomena and discover reality, Herbart believed it necessary to resolve 
phenomena into separate elements, for reality exists in the elements and not in the whole. He stated 
that objects can be classified by three general terms: thing, matter, and mind; the first a unit of 
several properties, the second an existing object, the third a self-conscious being. All three notions 
give rise, however, to certain contradictions, with whose solution Herbart is primarily concerned. For 
example, consider matter. Though capable of filling space, if reduced to its ultimate state it consists of 
incomprehensibly minute units of divine energy occupying no physical space whatsoever. 

The true subject of Arthur Schopenhauer's philosophy is the will; the object of his philosophy is the 
elevation of the mind to the point where it is capable of controlling the will. Schopenhauer likens the 
will to a strong blind man who carries on his shoulders the intellect, which is a weak lame man 
possessing the power of sight. The will is the tireless cause of manifestation and every part of Nature 
the product of will. The brain is the product of the will to know; the hand the product of the will to 
grasp. The entire intellectual and emotional constitutions of man are subservient to the will and are 
largely concerned with the effort to justify the dictates of the will. Thus the mind creates elaborate 
systems of thought simply to prove the necessity of the thing willed. Genius, however, represents the 
state wherein the intellect has gained supremacy over the will and the life is ruled by reason and not 
by impulse. The strength of Christianity, said Schopenhauer, lay in its pessimism and conquest of 
individual will. His own religious viewpoints resembled closely the Buddhistic. To him Nirvana 
represented the subjugation of will. Life—the manifestation of the blind will to live—he viewed as a 
misfortune, claiming that the true philosopher was one who, recognizing the wisdom of death, 
resisted the inherent urge to reproduce his kind. 


From Hort's The New Pantheon. 

Before a proper appreciation of the deeper scientific aspects of Greek mythology is possible, it is necessary to organize the 
Greek pantheon and arrange its gods, goddesses, and various superhuman hierarchies in concatenated order. Proclus, the 
great Neo-Platonist, in his commentaries on the theology of Plato, gives an invaluable key to the sequence of the various 
deities in relation to the First Cause and the inferior powers emanating from themselves. When thus arranged, the divine 
hierarchies may be likened to the branches of a great tree. The roots of this tree are firmly imbedded in Unknowable Being. 
The trunk and larger branches of the tree symbolize the superior gods; the twigs and leaves, the innumerable existences 
dependent upon the first and unchanging Power. 

p. 19 

Of Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche it has been said that his peculiar contribution to the cause of human 
hope was the glad tidings that God had died of pity! The outstanding features of Nietzsche's 
philosophy are his doctrine of eternal recurrence and the extreme emphasis placed by him upon the 
will to power— SL projection of Schopenhauer's will to live. Nietzsche believed the purpose of existence 
to be the production of a type of all-powerful individual, designated by him the superman. This 
superman was the product of careful culturing, for if not separated forcibly from the mass and 
consecrated to the production of power, the individual would sink back to the level of the deadly 
mediocre. Love, Nietzsche said, should be sacrificed to the production of the superman and those only 

should marry who are best fitted to produce this outstanding type. Nietzsche also believed in the rule 

of the aristocracy, both blood and breeding being essential to the establishment of this superior type. 
Nietzsche's doctrine did not liberate the masses; it rather placed over them supermen for whom their 
inferior brothers and sisters should be perfectly reconciled to die. Ethically and politically, the 
superman was a law unto himself. To those who understand the true meaning of power to be virtue, 
self-control, and truth, the ideality behind Nietzsche's theory is apparent. To the superficial, however, 
it is a philosophy heartless and calculating, concerned solely with the survival of the fittest. 

Of the other German schools of philosophic thought, limitations of space preclude detailed mention. 
The more recent developments of the German school are Freudianism and Relativism (often called 
the Einstein theory). The former is a system of psychoanalysis through psychopathic and neurological 
phenomena; the latter attacks the accuracy of mechanical principles dependent upon the present 
theory of velocity. 

Rene Descartes stands at the head of the French school of philosophy and shares with Sir Francis 
Bacon the honor of founding the systems of modern science and philosophy. As Bacon based his 
conclusions upon observation of external things, so Descartes founded his metaphysical philosophy 
upon observation of internal things. Cartesianism (the philosophy of Descartes) first eliminates all 
things and then replaces as fundamental those premises without which existence is impossible. 
Descartes defined an idea as that which fills the mind when we conceive a thing. The truth of an idea 
must be determined by the criteria of clarity and distinctness. Hence Descartes, held that a clear and 
distinct idea must be true. Descartes has the distinction also of evolving his own philosophy without 
recourse to authority. Consequently his conclusions are built up from the simplest of premises and 
grow in complexity as the structure of his philosophy takes form. 

The Positive philosophy of Auguste Comte is based upon the theory that the human intellect develops 

through three stages of thought. The first and lowest stage is theological; the second, metaphysical; 
and the third and highest, positive. Thus theology and metaphysics are the feeble intellectual efforts 
of humanity's child-mind and positivism is the mental expression of the adult intellect. In his Cours 
de Philosophie positive, Comte writes: 

"In the final, the positive state, the mind has given over the vain search after Absolute notions, the 
origin and destination of the universe, and the causes of phenomena, and applies itself to the study of 
their laws,~that is, their invariable relations of succession and resemblance. Reasoning and 
observation, duly combined, are the means of this knowledge." Comte's theory is described as an 
"enormous system of materialism." According to Comte, it was formerly said that the heavens declare 
the glory of God, but now they only recount the glory of Newton and Laplace. 

Among the French schools of philosophy are Traditionalism (often applied to Christianity), which 
esteems tradition as the proper foundation for philosophy; the Sociological school, which regards 
humanity as one vast social organism; the Encyclopedists, whose efforts to classify knowledge 
according to the Baconian system revolutionized European thought; Voltairism, which assailed the 
divine origin of the Christian faith and adopted an attitude of extreme skepticism toward all matters 
pertaining to theology; and Neo-Criticism, a French revision of the doctrines of Immanuel Kant. 

Henri Bergson, the intuitionalist, undoubtedly the greatest living French philosopher, presents a 
theory of mystic anti-intellectualism founded upon the premise of creative evolution. His rapid rise to 
popularity is due to his appeal to the finer sentiments in human nature, which rebel against the 
hopelessness and helplessness of materialistic science and realistic philosophy. Bergson sees God as 
life continually struggling against the limitations of matter. He even conceives the possible victory of 
life over matter, and in time the annihilation of death. 

Applying the Baconian method to the mind, John Locke, the great EngHsh philosopher, declared that 

everything which passes through the mind is a legitimate object of mental philosophy, and that these 
mental phenomena are as real and valid as the objects of any other science. In his investigations of 
the origin of phenomena Locke departed from the Baconian requirement that it was first necessary to 
make a natural history of facts. The mind was regarded by Locke to be blank until experience is 
inscribed upon it. Thus the mind is built up of received impressions plus reflection. The soul Locke 
believed to be incapable of apprehension of Deity, and man's realization or cognition of God to be 
merely an inference of the reasoning faculty. David Hume was the most enthusiastic and also the 
most powerful of the disciples of Locke. 

Attacking Locke's sensationalism, Bishop George Berkeley substituted for it a philosophy founded on 
Locke's fundamental premises but which he developed as a system of idealism. Berkeley held that 
ideas are the real objects of knowledge. He declared it impossible to adduce proof that sensations are 
occasioned by material objects; he also attempted to prove that matter has no existence. 
Berkeleianism holds that the universe is permeated and governed by mind. Thus the belief in the 
existence of material objects is merely a mental condition, and the objects themselves may well be 
fabrications of the mind. At the same time Berkeley considered it worse than insanity to question the 
accuraq?^ of the perceptions; for if the power of the perceptive faculties be questioned man is reduced 
to a creature incapable of knowing, estimating, or realizing anything whatsoever. 

In the Associationalism of Hartley and Hume was advanced the theory that the association of ideas is 
the fundamental principle of psychology and the explanation for all mental phenomena. Hartley held 
that if a sensation be repeated several times there is a tendency towards its spontaneous repetition, 
which may be awakened by association with some other idea even though the object causing the 
original reaction be absent. The Utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham, Archdeacon Paley, and James 
and John Stuart Mill declares that to be the greatest good which is the most useful to the greatest 
number. John Stuart Mill believed that if it is possible through sensation to secure knowledge of the 
properties of things, it is also possible through a higher state of the mind—that is, intuition or reason- 
-to gain a knowledge of the true substance of things. 

Darwinism is the doctrine of natural selection and physical evolution. It has been said of Charles 
Robert Darwin that he determined to banish spirit altogether from the universe and make the infinite 
and omnipresent Mind itself synonymous with the all-pervading powers of an impersonal Nature. 
Agnosticism and Neo-Hegelianism are also noteworthy products of this period of philosophic 
thought. The former is the belief that the nature of ultimates is unknowable; the latter an English and 
American revival of Hegel's idealism. 

Dr. W. J. Durant declares that Herbert Spencer's Great Work, First Principles, made him almost at 
once the most famous philosopher of his time. Spencerianism is a philosophic positivism which 
describes evolution as an ever-increasing complexity with equilibrium as its highest possible state. 
According to Spencer, life is a continuous process from homogeneity to heterogeneity and back from 
heterogeneity to homogeneity. Life also involves the continual adjustment of internal relations to 
external relations. Most famous of all Spencer's aphorisms is his definition of Deity: "God is infinite 
intelligence, infinitely diversified through infinite time and infinite space, manifesting through an 
infinitude of ever-evolving individualities." The universality of the law of evolution was emphasized 
by Spencer, who applied it not only to the form but also to the intelligence behind the form. In every 
manifestation of being he recognized the fundamental tendency of unfoldment from simplicity to 
complexity, observing that when the point of equilibrium is reached it is 


From Hone's Ancient Mystenes Described. 

In an effort to set forth in an appropriate figure the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, it was necessary to devise an image in 
which the three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost— were separate and yet one. In different parts of Europe may be 
seen figures similar to the above, wherein three faces are united in one head. This is a legitimate method of for to those 
able to realize the sacred significance of the threefold head a great mystery is revealed. However, in the presence of such 
applications of symbology in Christian art, it is scarcely proper to consider the philosophers of other faiths as benighted if, 
like the Hindus, they have a three-faced Brahma, or, like the Romans, a two-faced Janus. 

p. 20 

always followed by the process of dissolution. According to Spencer, however, disintegration took 
place only that reintegration might follow upon a higher level of being. 

The chief position in the Italian school of philosophy should be awarded to Giordano Bruno, who, 
after enthusiastically accepting Copernicus' theory that the sun is the center of the solar system, 
declared the sun to be a star and all the stars to be suns. In Bruno's time the earth was regarded as the 
center of all creation. Consequently when he thus relegated the world and man to an obscure corner 
in space the effect was cataclysmic. For the heresy of affirming a multiplicity of universes and 
conceiving Cosmos to be so vast that no single creed could fill it, Bruno paid the forfeit of his life. 

Vicoism is a philosophy based upon the conclusions of Giovanni Battista Vico, who held that God 
controls His world not miraculously but through natural law. The laws by which men rule themselves, 
Vico declared, issue from a spiritual source within mankind which is en rapport with the law of the 
Deity. Hence material law is of divine origin and reflects the dictates of the Spiritual Father. The 
philosophy of Ontologism developed by Vincenzo Gioberti (generally considered more as a theologian 
than a philosopher) posits God as the only being and the origin of all knowledge, knowledge being 
identical with Deity itself. God is consequently called Being; all other manifestations are existences. 
Truth is to be discovered through reflection upon this mystery. 

The most important of modern Italian philosophers is Benedetto Croce, a Hegelian idealist. Croce 
conceives ideas to be the only reality. He is anti-theological in his viewpoints, does not believe in the 
immortality of the soul, and seeks to substitute ethics and aesthetics for religion. Among other 
branches of Italian philosophy should be mentioned Sensism (Sensationalism), which posits the 
sense perceptions as the sole channels for the reception of knowledge; Criticism, or the philosophy of 
accurate judgment; and Neo-Scholasticism, which is a revival of Thomism encouraged by the Roman 
Catholic Church. 

The two outstanding schools of American philosophy are Transcendentalism and Pragmatism. 
Transcendentalism, exemplified in the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, emphasizes the power of 
the transcendental over the physical. Many of Emerson's writings show pronounced Oriental 
influence, particularly his essays on the Oversoul and the Law of Compensation. The theory of 
Pragmatism, while not original with Professor William James, owes its widespread popularity as a 
philosophic tenet to his efforts. Pragmatism may be defined as the doctrine that the meaning and 
nature of things are to be discovered from consideration of their consequences. The true, according to 
James, "is only an expedient in the way of our thinking, just as 'the right' is only an expedient in the 
way of our behaving." (See his Pragmatism.) John Dewey, the Instrumentalist, who applies the 
experimental attitude to all the aims of life, should be considered a commentator of James. To Dewey, 
growth and change are limitless and no ultimates are postulated. The long residence in America of 
George Santayana warrants the listing of this great Spaniard among the ranks of American 
philosophers. Defending himself with the shield of skepticism alike from the illusions of the senses 
and the cumulative errors of the ages, Santayana seeks to lead mankind into a more apprehending 
state denominated by him the life of reason. 

(In addition to the authorities already quoted, in the preparation of the foregoing abstract of the main 
branches of philosophic thought the present writer has had recourse to Stanley's History of 
Philosophy; Morell's An Historical and Critical View of the Speculative Philosophy of Europe in the 
Nineteenth Century; Singer's Modern Thinkers and Present Problems; Rand's Modern Classical 
Philosophers; Windelband's History of Philosophy; Perry's Present Philosophical Tendencies; 
Hamilton's Lectures on Metaphysics and Logic; and Durant's The Story of Philosophy.) 

Having thus traced the more or less sequential development of philosophic speculation from Thales 
to James and Bergson, it is now in order to direct the reader's attention to the elements leading to and 
the circumstances attendant upon the genesis of philosophic thinking. Although the Hellenes proved 
themselves peculiarly responsive to the disciplines of philosophy, this science of sciences should not 
be considered indigenous to them. "Although some of the Grecians," writes Thomas Stanley, "have 
challenged to their nation the original of philosophy, yet the more learned of them have 
acknowledged it [to be] derived from the East." The magnificent institutions of Hindu, Chaldean, and 
Egyptian learning must be recognized as the actual source of Greek wisdom. The last was patterned 
after the shadow cast by the sanctuaries of EUora, Ur, and Memphis upon the thought substance of a 
primitive people. Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato in their philosophic wanderings contacted many 
distant cults and brought back the lore of Egypt and the inscrutable Orient. 

From indisputable facts such as these it is evident that philosophy emerged from the religious 
Mysteries of antiquity, not being separated from religion until after the decay of the Mysteries. Hence 
he who would fathom the depths of philosophic thought must familiarize himself with the teachings 
of those initiated priests designated as the first custodians of divine revelation. The Mysteries claimed 
to be the guardians of a transcendental knowledge so profound as to be incomprehensible save to the 
most exalted intellect and so potent as to be revealed with safety only to those in whom personal 
ambition was dead and who had consecrated their lives to the unselfish service of humanity. Both the 
dignity of these sacred institutions and the validity of their claim to possession of Universal Wisdom 
are attested by the most illustrious philosophers of antiquity, who were themselves initiated into the 
profundities of the secret doctrine and who bore witness to its efficacy. 

The question may legitimately be propounded: If these ancient mystical institutions were of such 
"great pith and moment," why is so little information now available concerning them and the arcana 
they claimed to possess? The answer is simple enough: The Mysteries were secret societies, binding 
their initiates to inviolable secrecy, and avenging with death the betrayal of their sacred trusts. 
Although these schools were the true inspiration of the various doctrines promulgated by the ancient 
philosophers, the fountainhead of those doctrines was never revealed to the profane. Furthermore, in 
the lapse of time the teachings became so inextricably linked with the names of their disseminators 
that the actual but recondite source—the Mysteries—came to be wholly ignored. 

Symbolism is the language of the Mysteries; in fact it is the language not only of mysticism and 
philosophy but of all Nature, for every law and power active in universal procedure is manifested to 
the limited sense perceptions of man through the medium of symbol. Every form existing in the 
diversified sphere of being is symbolic of the divine activity by which it is produced. By symbols men 
have ever sought to communicate to each other those thoughts which transcend the limitations of 
language. Rejecting man-conceived dialects as inadequate and unworthy to perpetuate divine ideas, 
the Mysteries thus chose symbolism as a far more ingenious and ideal method of preserving their 
transcendental knowledge. In a single figure a symbol may both reveal and conceal, for to the wise the 
subject of the symbol is obvious, while to the ignorant the figure remains inscrutable. Hence, he who 
seeks to unveil the secret doctrine of antiquity must search for that doctrine not upon the open pages 
of books which might fall into the hands of the unworthy but in the place where it was originally 

Far-sighted were the initiates of antiquity. They realized that nations come and go, that empires rise 
and fall, and that the golden ages of art, science, and idealism are succeeded by the dark ages of 
superstition. With the needs of posterity foremost in mind, the sages of old went to inconceivable 
extremes to make certain that their knowledge should be preserved. They engraved it upon the face of 
mountains and concealed it within the measurements of colossal images, each of which was a 
geometric marvel. Their knowledge of chemistry and mathematics they hid within mythologies which 
the ignorant would perpetuate, or in the spans and arches of their temples which time has not entirely 
obliterated. They wrote in characters that neither the vandalism of men nor the ruthlessness of the 
elements could completely efface. Today men gaze with awe and reverence upon the mighty 
Memnons standing alone on the sands of Egypt, or upon the strange terraced pyramids of Palanque. 
Mute testimonies these are of the lost arts and sciences of antiquity; and concealed this wisdom must 
remain until this race has learned to read the universal language— SYMBOLISM. 

The book to which this is the introduction is dedicated to the proposition that concealed within the 
emblematic figures, allegories, and rituals of the ancients is a secret doctrine concerning the inner 
mysteries of life, which doctrine has been preserved in toto among a small band of initiated minds 
since the beginning of the world. Departing, these illumined philosophers left their formula that 
others, too, might attain to understanding. But, lest these secret processes fall into uncultured hands 
and be perverted, the Great Arcanum was always concealed in symbol or allegory; and those who can 
today discover its lost keys may open with them a treasure house of philosophic, scientific, and 
religious truths. 


From Bryant's An Analysis of Ancient Mythology. 

The ancient symbol of the Orphic Mysteries was the serpent-entwined egg, which signified Cosmos as encircled by the 
fiery Creative Spirit. The egg also represents the soul of the philosopher; the serpent, the Mysteries. At the time of 
initiation the shell is broke, and man emerges from the embryonic state of physical existence wherein he had remained 
through the fetal period of philosophic regeneration. 

The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies 

Which Have Influenced Modem Masonic Symbolism 

p. 21 

WHEN confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong 
intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question. 
Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed. While 
the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock 
of sheep and taught in simple language. They depend almost entirely upon the ministrations of the 
shepherd. The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food 
of strong men. ThoughtZessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thought/iz/ness is 
symbolic of maturity. 

There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious 

doctrines of the pagans were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human 
intellect—one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life. To the 
discerning few were revealed the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many received 
only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and 
the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified, becoming the 
gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings 
to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies), the wise recognized in 
these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths. 

In all cities of the ancient world were temples for public worship and offering. In every community 
also were philosophers and mystics, deeply versed in Nature's lore. These individuals were usually 
banded together, forming seclusive philosophic and religious schools. The more important of these 
groups were known as the Mysteries. Many of the great minds of antiquity were initiated into these 
secret fraternities by strange and mysterious rites, some of which were extremely cruel. Alexander 
Wilder defines the Mysteries as "Sacred dramas performed at stated periods. The most celebrated 
were those of Isis, Sabazius, Cybele, and Eleusis." After being admitted, the initiates were instructed 
in the secret wisdom which had been preserved for ages. Plato, an initiate of one of these sacred 
orders, was severely criticized because in his writings he revealed to the public many of the secret 
philosophic principles of the Mysteries. 

Every pagan nation had (and has) not only its state religion, but another into which the philosophic 

elect alone have gained entrance. Many of these ancient cults vanished from the earth without 
revealing their secrets, but a few have survived the test of ages and their mysterious symbols are still 
preserved. Much of the ritualism of Freemasonry is based on the trials to which candidates were 
subjected by the ancient hierophants before the keys of wisdom were entrusted to them. 

Few realize the extent to which the ancient secret schools influenced contemporary intellects and, 
through those minds, posterity. Robert Macoy, 33°, in his General History of Freemasonry, pays a 
magnificent tribute to the part played by the ancient Mysteries in the rearing of the edifice of human 
culture. He says, in part: "It appears that all the perfection of civilization, and all the advancement 
made in philosophy, science, and art among the ancients are due to those institutions which, under 
the veil of mystery, sought to illustrate the sublimest truths of religion, morality, and virtue, and 
impress them on the hearts of their disciples.* * * Their chief object was to teach the doctrine of one 
God, the resurrection of man to eternal life, the dignity of the human soul, and to lead the people to 
see the shadow of the deity, in the beauty, magnificence, and splendor of the universe." 

With the dedine of virtue, which has preceded the destruction of every nation of history, the 
Mysteries became perverted. Sorcery took the place of the divine magic. Indescribable practices (such 
as the Bacchanalia) were introduced, and perversion ruled supreme; for no institution can be any 
better than the members of which it is composed. In despair, the few who were true sought to 
preserve the secret doctrines from oblivion. In some cases they succeeded, but more often the 
arcanum was lost and only the empty shell of the Mysteries remained. 

Thomas Taylor has written, "Man is naturally a religious animal." From the earliest dawning of his 
consciousness, man has worshiped and revered things as symbolic of the invisible, omnipresent, 
indescribable Thing, concerning which he could discover practically nothing. The pagan Mysteries 
opposed the Christians during the early centuries of their church, declaring that the new faith 
(Christianity) did not demand virtue and integrity as requisites for salvation. Celsus expressed 
himself on the subject in the following caustic terms: 

"That I do not, however, accuse the Christians more bitterly than truth compels, may be conjectured 
from hence, that the cryers who call men to other mysteries proclaim as follows: 'Let him approach 
whose hands are pure, and whose words are wise.' And again, others proclaim: 'Let him approach 
who is pure from all wickedness, whose soul is not conscious of any evil, and who leads a just and 
upright life.' And these things are proclaimed by those who promise a purification from error. Let us 
now hear who those are that are called to the Christian mysteries: Whoever is a sinner, whoever is 
unwise, whoever is a fool, and whoever, in short, is miserable, him the kingdom of God will receive. 
Do you not, therefore, call a sinner, an unjust man, a thief, a housebreaker, a wizard, one who is 
sacrilegious, and a robber of sepulchres? What other persons would the cryer nominate, who should 
call robbers together?" 

It was not the true faith of the early Christian mystics that Celsus attacked, but the false forms that 
were creeping in even during his day. The ideals of early Christianity were based upon the high moral 
standards of the pagan Mysteries, and the first Christians who met under the city of Rome used as 
their places of worship the subterranean temples of Mithras, from whose cult has been borrowed 
much of the sacerdotalism of the modem church. 

The ancient philosophers believed that no man could live intelligently who did not have a 
fundamental knowledge of Nature and her laws. Before man can obey, he must understand, and the 
Mysteries were devoted to instructing man concerning the operation of divine law in the terrestrial 
sphere. Few of the early cults actually worshiped anthropomorphic deities, although their symbolism 
might lead one to believe they did. They were moralistic rather than religionistic; philosophic rather 
than theologic. They taught man to use his faculties more intelligently, to be patient in the face of 
adversity, to be courageous when confronted by danger, to be true in the midst of temptation, and, 
most of all, to view a worthy life as the most acceptable sacrifice to God, and his body as an altar 
sacred to the Deity. 

Sun worship played an important part in nearly all the early pagan Mysteries. This indicates the 
probability of their Atlantean origin, for the people of Atlantis were sun worshipers. The Solar Deity 
was usually personified as a beautiful youth, with long golden hair to symbolize the rays of the sun. 
This golden Sun God was slain by wicked ruffians, who personified the evil principle of the universe. 
By means of certain rituals and ceremonies, symbolic of purification and regeneration, this wonderful 
God of Good was brought back to life and became the Savior of His people. The secret processes 
whereby He was resurrected symbolized those cultures by means of which man is able to overcome 
his lower nature, master his appetites, and give expression to the higher side of himself. The 
Mysteries were organized for the purpose of assisting the struggling human creature to reawaken the 
spiritual powers which, surrounded by the flaming 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities. 

This illustration shows Cybele, here called the Syrian Goddess, in the robes of a hierophant. Montfaucon describes the 
figure as follows: "Upon her head is an episcopal mitre, adorned on the lower part with towers and pinnacles; over the 
gate of the city is a crescent, and beneath the circuit of the walls a crown of rays. The Goddess wears a sort of surplice, 
exactly like the surplice of a priest or bishop; and upon the surplice a tunic, which falls down to the legs; and over all an 
episcopal cope, with the twelve signs of the Zodiac wrought on the borders. The figure hath a lion on each side, and holds 
in its left hand a Tympanum, a Sistrum, a Distaff, a Caduceus, and another instrument. In her right hand she holds with 
her middle finger a thunderbolt, and upon the same am animals, insects, and, as far as we may guess, flowers, fruit, a bow, 
a quiver, a torch, and a sc5^he." The whereabouts of the statue is unknown, the copy reproduced by Montfaucon being 
from drawings by Pirro Ligorio. 

p. 22 

ring of lust and degeneraq'^, lay asleep within his soul. In other words, man was offered a way by 
which he could regain his lost estate. (See Wagner's Siegfried.) 

In the ancient world, nearly all the secret societies were philosophic and religious. During the 
mediaeval centuries, they were chiefly religious and political, although a few philosophic schools 
remained. In modern times, secret societies, in the Occidental countries, are largely political or 
fraternal, although in a few of them, as in Masonry, the ancient religious and philosophic principles 
still survive. 

Space prohibits a detailed discussion of the secret schools. There were literally scores of these ancient 
cults, with branches in all parts of the Eastern and Western worlds. Some, such as those of Pythagoras 
and the Hermetists, show a decided Oriental influence, while the Rosicrucians, according to their own 
proclamations, gained much of their wisdom from Arabian mystics. Although the Mystery schools are 
usually associated with civilization, there is evidence that the most uncivilized peoples of prehistoric 
times had a knowledge of them. Natives of distant islands, many in the lowest forms of savagery, have 
mystic rituals and secret practices which, although primitive, are of a decided Masonic tinge. 


"The original and primitive inhabitants of Britain, at some remote period, revived and reformed their 
national institutes. Their priest, or instructor, had hitherto been simply named Gwydd, but it was 
considered to have become necessary to divide this office between the national, or superior, priest 
and another whose influence [would] be more limited. From henceforth the former became Der- 
Wydd (Druid), or superior instructor, and [the latter] Go-Wydd, or 0-Vydd (Ovate), subordinate 
instructor; and both went by the general name of Beirdd (Bards), or teachers of wisdom. As the 
system matured and augmented, the Bardic Order consisted of three classes, the Druids, Beirdd 
Braint, or privileged Bards, and Ovates." (See Samuel Meyrick and Charles Smith, The Costume of 
The Original Inhabitants of The British Islands.) 

The origin of the word Druid is under dispute. Max Miiller believes that, like the Irish word Drui, it 
means "the men of the oak trees." He further draws attention to the fact that the forest gods and tree 
deities of the Greeks were called dryades. Some believe the word to be of Teutonic origin; others 
ascribe it to the Welsh. A few trace it to the Gaelic druidh, which means "a wise man" or "a sorcerer." 
In Sanskrit the word dm means "timber." 

At the time of the Roman conquest, the Druids were thoroughly ensconced in Britain and Gaul. Their 
power over the people was unquestioned, and there were instances in which armies, about to attack 
each other, sheathed their swords when ordered to do so by the white-robed Druids. No undertaking 
of great importance was scatted without the assistance of these patriarchs, who stood as mediators 
between the gods and men. The Druidic Order is deservedly credited with having had a deep 
understanding of Nature and her laws. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that geography, physical 
science, natural theology, and astrology were their favorite studies. The Druids had a fundamental 
knowledge of medicine, especially the use of herbs and simples. Crude surgical instruments also have 
been found in England and Ireland. An odd treatise on early British medicine states that every 
practitioner was expected to have a garden or back yard for the growing of certain herbs necessary to 
his profession. Eliphas Levi, the celebrated transcendentalist, makes the following significant 

"The Druids were priests and physicians, curing by magnetism and charging amylets with their fluidic 
influence. Their universal remedies were mistletoe and serpents' eggs, because these substances 
attract the astral light in a special manner. The solemnity with which mistletoe was cut down drew 
upon this plant the popular confidence and rendered it powerfully magnetic. * * * The progress of 
magnetism will some day reveal to us the absorbing properties of mistletoe. We shall then understand 
the secret of those spongy growths which drew the unused virtues of plants and become surcharged 
with tinctures and savors. Mushrooms, truffles, gall on trees, and the different kinds of mistletoe will 
be employed with understanding by a medical science, which will be new because it is old * * * but 
one must not move quicker than science, which recedes that it may advance the further. " (See The 
History of Magic.) 

Not only was the mistletoe sacred as symbolic of the universal medicine, or panacea, but also because 
of the fact that it grew upon the oak tree. Through the symbol of the oak, the Druids worshiped the 
Supreme Deity; therefore, anything growing upon that tree was sacred to Him. At certain seasons, 
according to the positions of the sun, moon, and stars, the Arch-Druid climbed the oak tree and cut 
the mistletoe with a golden sickle consecrated for that service. The parasitic growth was caught in 
white cloths provided for the purpose, lest it touch the earth and be polluted by terrestrial vibrations. 
Usually a sacrifice of a white bull was made under the tree. 

The Druids were initiates of a secret school that existed in their midst. This school, which closely 
resembled the Bacchic and Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece or the Egyptian rites of Isis and Osiris, is 
justly designated the Druidic Mysteries. There has been much speculation concerning the secret 

wisdom that the Druids claimed to possess. Their secret teachings were never written, but were 
communicated orally to specially prepared candidates. Robert Brown, 32°, is of the opinion that the 
British priests secured their information from Tyrian and Phoenician navigators who, thousands of 
years before the Christian Era, established colonies in Britain and Gaul while searching for tin. 
Thomas Maurice, in his Indian Antiquities, discourses at length on Phcenician, Carthaginian, and 
Greek expeditions to the British Isles for the purpose of procuring tin. Others are of the opinion that 
the Mysteries as celebrated by the Druids were of Oriental origin, possibly Buddhistic. 

The proximity of the British Isles to the lost Atlantis may account for the sun worship which plays an 
important part in the rituals of Druidism. According to Artemidorus, Ceres and Persephone were 
worshiped on an island close to Britain with rites and ceremonies similar to those of Samothrace. 
There is no doubt that the Druidic Pantheon includes a large number of Greek and Roman deities. 
This greatly amazed Caesar during his conquest of Britain and Gaul, and caused him to affirm that 
these tribes adored Mercury, Apollo, Mars, and Jupiter, in a manner similar to that of the Latin 
countries. It is almost certain that the Druidic Mysteries were not indigenous to Britain or Gaul, but 
migrated from one of the more ancient civilizations. 

The school of the Druids was divided into three distinct parts, and the secret teachings embodied 
therein are practically the same as the mysteries concealed under the allegories of Blue Lodge 
Masonry. The lowest of the three divisions was that of Ovate (Ovydd). This was an honorary degree, 
requiring no special purification or preparation. The Ovates dressed in green, the Druidic color of 
learning, and were expected to know something about medicine, astronomy, poetry if possible, and 
sometimes music. An Ovate was an individual admitted to the Druidic Order because of his general 
excellence and superior knowledge concerning the problems of life. 

The second division was that of Bard (Beirdd). Its members were robed in sky-blue, to represent 
harmony and truth, and to them was assigned the labor of memorizing, at least in part, the twenty 
thousand verses of Druidic sacred poetry. They were often pictured with the primitive British or Irish 
harp~an instrument strung with human hair, and having as many strings as there were ribs on one 
side of the human body. These Bards were often chosen as teachers of candidates seeking entrance 
into the Druidic Mysteries. Neophytes wore striped robes of blue, green, and white, these being the 
three sacred colors of the Druidic Order. 

The third division was that of Druid (Derwyddon). Its particular labor was to minister to the religious 
needs of the people. To reach this dignity, the candidate must first become a Bard Braint. The Druids 
always dressed in white—symbolic of their purity, and the color used by them to symbolize the sun. 

In order to reach the exalted position of Arch-Druid, or spiritual head of the organization, it was 
necessary for a priest to pass through the six successive degrees of the Druidic Order. (The members 
of the different degrees were differentiated by the colors of their sashes, for all of them wore robes of 
white.) Some writers are of the opinion that the title oi Arch-Druid was hereditary, descending from 
father to son, but it is more probable that the honor was conferred by ballot election. Its recipient was 
chosen for his virtues and 


From Wellcome's Ancient Cymric Medicine. 

The most striking adornment of the Arch- Druid was the iodhan moron, or breastplate of judgment, which possessed the 
mysterious Power of strangling any who made an untrue statement while wearing it. Godfrey Higgins states that this 
breastplate was put on the necks of witnesses to test the veracity of their evidence. The Druidic tiara, or anguinum, its 
front embossed with a number of points to represent the sun's rays, indicated that the priest was a personification of the 
rising sun. On the front of his belt the Arch-Druid wore the liath meisicith--a magic brooch, or buckle in the center of 
which was a large white stone. To this was attributed the power of drawing the fire of the gods down from heaven at the 
priest's command This specially cut stone was a burning glass, by which the sun's rays were concentrated to light the altar 
fires. The Druids also had other symbolic implements, such as the peculiarly shaped golden sickle with which they cut the 
mistletoe from the oak, and the coman, or scepter, in the form of a crescent, symbolic of the sixth day of the increasing 
moon and also of the Ark of Noah. An early initiate of the Druidic Mysteries related that admission to their midnight 
ceremony was gained by means of a glass boat, called Cwrwg Gwydrin. This boat symbolized the moon, which, floating 
upon the waters of eternity, preserved the seeds of living creatures within its boatlike crescent. 

p- 23 

integrity from the most learned members of the higher Druidic degrees. 

According to James Gardner, there were usually two Arch-Druids in Britain, one residing on the Isle 
of Anglesea and the other on the Isle of Man. Presumably there were others in Gaul. These dignitaries 
generally carried golden scepters and were crowned with wreaths of oak leaves, symbolic of their 
authority. The younger members of the Druidic Order were clean-shaven and modestly dressed, but 
the more aged had long gray beards and wore magnificent golden ornaments. The educational system 
of the Druids in Britain was superior to that of their colleagues on the Continent, and consequently 
many of the Gallic youths were sent to the Druidic colleges in Britain for their philosophical 
instruction and training. 

Eliphas Levi states that the Druids lived in strict abstinence, studied the natural sciences, preserved 
the deepest secrecy, and admitted new members only after long probationary periods. Many of the 
priests of the order lived in buildings not unlike the monasteries of the modern world. They were 
associated in groups like ascetics of the Far East. Although celibacy was not demanded of them, few 
married. Many of the Druids retired from the world and lived as recluses in caves, in rough-stone 

houses, or in little shacks built in the depths of a forest. Here they prayed and medicated, emerging 
only to perform their religious duties. 

James Freeman Clarke, in his Ten Great Religions, describes the beliefs of the Druids as follows: "The 
Druids believed in three worlds and in transmigration from one to the other: In a world above this, in 
which happiness predominated; a world below, of misery; and this present state. This transmigration 
was to punish and reward and also to purify the soul. In the present world, said they, Good and Evil 
are so exactly balanced that man has the utmost freedom and is able to choose or reject either. The 
Welsh Triads tell us there are three objects of metempsychosis: to collect into the soul the properties 
of all being, to acquire a knowledge of all things, and to get power to conquer evil. There are also, they 
say, three kinds of knowledge: knowledge of the nature of each thing, of its cause, and its influence. 
There are three things which continually grow less: darkness, falsehood, and death. There are three 
which constantly increase: light, life, and truth." 

Like nearly all schools of the Mysteries, the teachings of the Druids were divided into two distinct 
sections. The simpler, a moral code, was taught to all the people, while the deeper, esoteric doctrine 
was given only to initiated priests. To be admitted to the order, a candidate was required to be of good 
family and of high moral character. No important secrets were intrusted to him until he had been 
tempted in many ways and his strength of character severely tried. The Druids taught the people of 
Britain and Gaul concerning the immortality of the soul. They believed in transmigration and 
apparently in reincarnation. They borrowed in one life, promising to pay back in the next. They 
believed in a purgatorial type of hell where they would be purged of their sins, afterward passing on to 
the happiness of unity with the gods. The Druids taught that all men would be saved, but that some 
must return to earth many times to learn the lessons of human life and to overcome the inherent evil 
of their own natures. 

Before a candidate was intrusted with the secret doctrines of the Druids, he was bound with a vow of 
secrecy. These doctrines were imparted only in the depths of forests and in the darkness of caves. In 
these places, far from the haunts of men, the neophyte was instructed concerning the creation of the 
universe, the personalities of the gods, the laws of Nature, the secrets of occult medicine, the 
mysteries of the celestial bodies, and the rudiments of magic and sorcery. The Druids had a great 
number of feast days. The new and full moon and the sixth day of the moon were sacred periods. It is 
believed that initiations took place only at the two solstices and the two equinoxes. At dawn of the 
25th day of December, the birth of the Sun God was celebrated. 

The secret teachings of the Druids are said by some to be tinctured with Pythagorean philosophy. The 
Druids had a Madonna, or Virgin Mother, with a Child in her arms, who was sacred to their Mysteries; 
and their Sun God was resurrected at the time of the year corresponding to that at which modern 
Christians celebrate Easter. 

Both the cross and the serpent were sacred to the Druids, who made the former by cutting off all the 
branches of an oak tree and fastening one of them to the main trunk in the form of the letter T. This 
oaken cross became symbolic of their superior Deity. They also worshiped the sun, moon, and stars. 
The moon received their special veneration. Caesar stated that Mercury was one of the chief deities of 
the Gauls. The Druids are believed to have worshiped Mercury under the similitude of a stone cube. 
They also had great veneration for the Nature spirits (fairies, gnomes, and undines), little creatures of 
the forests and rivers to whom many offerings were made. Describing the temples of the Druids, 
Charles Heckethorn, in The Secret Societies of All Ages & Countries, says: 

"Their temples wherein the sacred fire was preserved were generally situate on eminences and in 
dense groves of oak, and assumed various forms—circular, because a circle was the emblem of the 
universe; oval, in allusion to the mundane egg, from which issued, according to the traditions of many 
nations, the universe, or, according to others, our first parents; serpentine, because a serpent was the 

symbol of Hu, the Dniidic Osiris; cruciform, because a cross is an emblem of regeneration; or winged, 
to represent the motion of the Divine Spirit. * * * Their chief deities were reducible to two~a male and 
a female, the great father and mother~Hu and Ceridwen, distinguished by the same characteristics as 
belong to Osiris and Isis, Bacchus and Ceres, or any other supreme god and goddess representing the 
two principles of all Being." 

Godfrey Higgins states that Hu, the Mighty, regarded as the first settler of Britain, came from a place 
which the Welsh Triads call the Summer Country, the present site of Constantinople. Albert Pike says 
that the Lost Word of Masonry is concealed in the name of the Druid god Hu. The meager 
information extant concerning the secret initiations of the Druids indicates a decided similarity 
between their Mystery school and the schools of Greece and Egypt. Hu, the Sun God, was murdered 
and, after a number of strange ordeals and mystic rituals, was restored to life. 

There were three degrees of the Druidic Mysteries, but few successfully passed them all. The 
candidate was buried in a coffin, as symbolic of the death of the Sun God. The supreme test, however, 
was being sent out to sea in an open boat. While undergoing this ordeal, many lost their lives. Taliesin, 
an ancient scholar, who passed through the Mysteries, describes the initiation of the open boat in 
Faber's Pagan Idolatry. The few who passed this third degree were said to have been "born again," 
and were instructed in the secret and hidden truths which the Druid priests had preserved from 
antiquity. From these initiates were chosen many of the dignitaries of the British religious and 
political world. (For further details, see Faber's Pagan Idolatry, Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma, 
and Godfrey Higgins' Celtic Druids.) 


When the Persian Mysteries immigrated into Southern Europe, they were quickly assimilated by the 
Latin mind. The cult grew rapidly, especially among the Roman soldiery, and during the Roman wars 
of conquest the teachings were carried by the legionaries to nearly all parts of Europe. So powerful 
did the cult of Mithras become that at least one Roman Emperor was initiated into the order, which 
met in caverns under the city of Rome. Concerning the spread of this Mystery school through 
different parts of Europe, C. W. King, in his Gnostics and Their Remains, says: 

"Mithraic bas-reliefs cut on the faces of rocks or on stone tablets still abound in the countries 
formerly the western provinces of the Roman Empire; many exist in Germany, still more in France, 
and in this island (Britain) they have often been discovered on the line of the Picts' Wall and the 
noted one at Bath." 

Alexander Wilder, in his Philosophy and Ethics of the Zoroasters, states that Mithras is the Zend title 
for the sun, and he is supposed to dwell within that shining orb. Mithras has a male and a female 
aspect, though not himself androgynous. As Mithras, he is the ford of the sun, powerful and radiant, 
and most magnificent of the Yazatas (Izads, or Genii, of the sun). As Mithra, this deity represents the 
feminine principle; the mundane universe is recognized as her symbol. She represents Nature as 
receptive and terrestrial, and as fruitful only when bathed in the glory of the solar orb. The Mithraic 
cult is a simplification of the more elaborate teachings of Zarathustra (Zoroaster), the Persian fire 


From Maurice's Indian Antiquities. 

The Druid temples of places of religious worship were not patterned after those of other nations. Most of their ceremonies 
were performed at night, either in thick groves of oak trees or around open-air altars built of great uncut stones. How 
these masses of rock were moved ahs not been satisfactorily explained. The most famous of their altars, a great stone ring 
of rocks, is Stonehenge, in Southwestern England. This structure, laid out on an astronomical basis, still stands, a wonder 
of antiquity. 

p. 24 

According to the Persians, there coexisted in eternity two principles. The first of these, Ahura-Mazda, 
or Ormuzd, was the Spirit of Good. From Ormuzd came forth a number of hierarchies of good and 
beautiful spirits (angels and archangels). The second of these eternally existing principles was called 
Ahriman. He was also a pure and beautiful spirit, but he later rebelled against Ormuzd, being jealous 
of his power. This did not occur, however, until after Ormuzd had created light, for previously 
Ahriman had not been conscious of the existence of Ormuzd. Because of his jealousy and rebellion, 
Ahriman became the Spirit of Evil. From himself he individualized a host of destructive creatures to 
injure Ormuzd. 

When Ormuzd created the earth, Ahriman entered into its grosser elements. Whenever Ormuzd did a 
good deed, Ahriman placed the principle of evil within it. At last when Ormuzd created the human 
race, Ahriman became incarnate in the lower nature of man so that in each personality the Spirit of 
Good and the Spirit of Evil struggle for control. For 3,000 years Ormuzd ruled the celestial worlds 
with light and goodness. Then he created man. For another 3,000 years he ruled man with wisdom, 
and integrity. Then the power of Ahriman began, and the struggle for the soul of man continues 
through the next period of 3,000 years. During the fourth period of 3,000 years, the power of 
Ahriman will be destroyed. Good will return to the world again, evil and death will be vanquished, 
and at last the Spirit of Evil will bow humbly before the throne of Ormuzd. While Ormuzd and 
Ahriman are struggling for control of the human soul and for supremacy in Nature, Mithras, God of 
Intelligence, stands as mediator between the two. Many authors have noted the similarity between 
mercury and Mithras. As the chemical mercury acts as a solvent (according to alchemists), so Mithras 
seeks to harmonize the two celestial opposites. 

There are many points of resemblance between Christianity and the cult of Mithras. One of the 
reasons for this probably is that the Persian mystics invaded Italy during the first century after Christ 

and the early history of both cults was closely interwoven. The Encyclopaedia Britannica makes the 
following statement concerning the Mithraic and Christian Mysteries: 

"The fraternal and democratic spirit of the first communities, and their humble origin; the 
identification of the object of adoration with light and the sun; the legends of the shepherds with their 
gifts and adoration, the flood, and the ark; the representation in art of the fiery chariot, the drawing of 
water from the rock; the use of bell and candle, holy water and the communion; the sanctification of 
Sunday and of the 25th of December; the insistence on moral conduct, the emphasis placed on 
abstinence and self-control; the doctrine of heaven and hell, of primitive revelation, of the mediation 
of the Logos emanating from the divine, the atoning sacrifice, the constant warfare between good and 
evil and the final triumph of the former, the immortality of the soul, the last judgment, the 
resurrection of the flesh and the fiery destruction of the universe— [these] are some of the 
resemblances which, whether real or only apparent, enabled Mithraism to prolong its resistance to 

The rites of Mithras were performed in caves. Porphyry, in his Cave of the Nymphs, states that 
Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was the first to consecrate a cave to the worship of God, because a cavern was 
symbolic of the earth, or the lower world of darkness. John P. Lundy, in his Monumental Christianity, 
describes the cave of Mithras as follows: 

"But this cave was adorned with the signs of the zodiac. Cancer and Capricorn. The summer and 
winter solstices were chiefly conspicuous, as the gates of souls descending into this life, or passing out 
of it in their ascent to the Gods; Cancer being the gate of descent, and Capricorn of ascent. These are 
the two avenues of the immortals passing up and down from earth to heaven, and from heaven to 

The so-called chair of St. Peter, in Rome, was believed to have been used in one of the pagan 
Mysteries, possibly that of Mithras, in whose subterranean grottoes the votaries of the Christian 
Mysteries met in the early days of their faith. In Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins writes that in 1662, 
while cleaning this sacred chair of Bar-Jonas, the Twelve Labors of Hercules were discovered upon it, 
and that later the French discovered upon the same chair the Mohammedan confession of faith, 
written in Arabic. 

Initiation into the rites of Mithras, like initiation into many other ancient schools of philosophy, 
apparently consisted of three important degrees. Preparation for these degrees consisted of self- 
purification, the building up of the intellectual powers, and the control of the animal nature. In the 
first degree the candidate was given a crown upon the point of a sword and instructed in the 
mysteries of Mithras' hidden power. Probably he was taught that the golden crown represented his 
own spiritual nature, which must be objectified and unfolded before he could truly glorify Mithras; 
for Mithras was his own soul, standing as mediator between Ormuzd, his spirit, and Ahriman, his 
animal nature. In the second degree he was given the armor of intelligence and purity and sent into 
the darkness of subterranean pits to fight the beasts of lust, passion, and degeneracy. In the third 
degree he was given a cape, upon which were drawn or woven the signs of the zodiac and other 
astronomical symbols. After his initiations were over, he was hailed as one who had risen from the 
dead, was instructed in the secret teachings of the Persian mystics, and became a full-fledged member 
of the order. Candidates who successfully passed the Mithraic initiations were called Lions and were 
marked upon their foreheads with the Egyptian cross. Mithras himself is often pictured with the head 
of a lion and two pairs of wings. Throughout the entire ritual were repeated references to the birth of 
Mithras as the Sun God, his sacrifice for man, his death that men might have eternal life, and lastly, 
his resurrection and the saving of all humanity by his intercession before the throne of Ormuzd. (See 

While the cult of Mithras did not reach the philosophic heights attained by Zarathustra, its effect 

upon the civilization of the Western world was far-reaching, for at one time nearly all Europe was 
converted to its doctrines. Rome, in her intercourse with other nations, inoculated them with her 
religious principles; and many later institutions have exhibited Mithraic culture. The reference to the 
"Lion" and the "Grip of the Lion's Paw" in the Master Mason's degree have a strong Mithraic tinge 
and may easily have originated from this cult. A ladder of seven rungs appears in the Mithraic 
initiation. Faber is of the opinion that this ladder was originally a pyramid of seven steps. It is 
possible that the Masonic ladder with seven rungs had its origin in this Mithraic symbol. Women 
were never permitted to enter the Mithraic Order, but children of the male sex were initiates long 
before they reached maturity. The refusal to permit women to join the Masonic Order may be based 
on the esoteric reason given in the secret instructions of the Mithraics. This cult is another excellent 
example of those secret societies whose legends are largely symbolic representations of the sun and 
his journey through the houses of the heavens. Mithras, rising from a stone, is merely the sun rising 
over the horizon, or, as the ancients supposed, out of the horizon, at the vernal equinox. 

John O'Neill disputes the theory that Mithras was intended as a solar deity. In The Night of the Gods 
he writes: "The Avestan Mithra, the yazata of light, has '10,000 eyes, high, with full knowledge 
(perethuvaedayana), strong, sleepless and ever awake (jaghaurvaunghem).'The supreme god Ahura 
Mazda also has one Eye, or else it is said that 'with his eyes, the sun, moon and stars, he sees 
everything.' The theory that Mithra was originally a title of the supreme heavens-god~putting the 
sun out of court—is the only one that answers all requirements. It will be evident that here we have 
origins in abundance for the Freemason's Eye and 'its nunquam dormio.'" The reader must nor 
confuse the Persian Mithra with the Vedic Mitra. According to Alexander Wilder, "The Mithraic rites 
superseded the Mysteries of Bacchus, and became the foundation of the Gnostic system, which for 
many centuries prevailed in Asia, Egypt, and even the remote West." 



From Lundy's Monumental Christianity. 

The most famous sculpturings and reliefs of this prototokos show Mithras kneehng upon the recumbent form of a great 
bull, into whose throat he is driving a sword. The slaying of the bull signifies that the rays of the sun, symbolized by the 
sword, release at the vernal equinox the vital essences of the earth—the blood of the bull—which, pouring from the wound 
made by the Sun God, fertilize the seeds of living things. Dogs were held sacred to the cult of Mithras, being symbolic of 
sincerity and trustworthiness. The Mithraics used the serpent a an emblem of Ahriman, the Spirit of Evil, and water rats 
were held sacred to him. The bull is esoterically the Constellation of Taurus; the serpent, its opposite in the zodiac, 

Scorpio; the sun, Mithras, entering into the side of the bull, slays the celestial creature and nourishes the universe with its 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities 

Mithras was born out of a rock, which, breaking open, permitted him to emerge. This occurred in the darkness of a 
subterranean chamber. The Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem confirms the theory that Jesus was born in a grotto, or 
cave. According to Dupuis, Mithras was put to death by crucifixion and rose again on the third day. 


The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies 

Part Two 

THE entire history of Christian and pagan Gnosticism is shrouded in the deepest mystery and 
obscurity; for, while the Gnostics were undoubtedly prolific writers, little of their literature has 
survived. They brought down upon themselves the animosity of the early Christian Church, and when 
this institution reached its position of world power it destroyed all available records of the Gnostic 
cultus. The name Gnostic means wisdom, or knowledge, and is derived from the Greek Gnosis. The 
members of the order claimed to be familiar with the secret doctrines of early Christianity. They 
interpreted the Christian Mysteries according to pagan symbolism. Their secret information and 
philosophic tenets they concealed from the profane and taught to a small group only of especially 
initiated persons. 

Simon Magus, the magician of New Testament fame, is often supposed to have been the founder of 
Gnosticism. If this be true, the sect was formed during the century after Christ and is probably the 
first of the many branches which have sprung from the main trunk of Christianity. Everything with 
which the enthusiasts of the early Christian Church might not agree they declared to be inspired by 
the Devil. That Simon Magus had mysterious and supernatural powers is conceded even by his 
enemies, but they maintained that these powers were lent to him by the infernal spirits and furies 
which they asserted were his ever present companions. Undoubtedly the most interesting legend 
concerning Simon is that which tells of his theosophic contests with the Apostle Peter while the two 
were promulgating their differing doctrines in Rome. According to the story that the Church Fathers 
have preserved, Simon was to prove his spiritual superiority by ascending to heaven in a chariot of 
fire. He was actually picked up and carried many feet into the air by invisible powers. When St. Peter 
saw this, he cried out in a loud voice, ordering the demons (spirits of the air) to release their hold 
upon the magician. The evil spirits, when so ordered by the great saint, were forced to obey. Simon 
fell a great distance and was killed, which decisively proved the superiority of the Christian powers. 
This story is undoubtedly manufactured out of whole cloth, as it is only one out of many accounts 
concerning his death, few of which agree. As more and more evidence is being amassed to the effect 
that St, Peter was never in Rome, its last possible vestige of authenticity is rapidly being dissipated. 

That Simon was a philosopher there is no doubt, for wherever his exact words are preserved his 
synthetic and transcending thoughts are beautifully expressed. The principles of Gnosticism are well 
described in the following verbatim statement by him, supposed to have been preserved by 
Hippolytus: "To you, therefore, I say what I say, and write what I write. And the writing is this. Of the 
universal vEons [periods, planes, or cycles of creative and created life in substance and space, celestial 
creatures] there are two shoots, without beginning or end, springing from one Root, which is the 
power invisible, inapprehensible silence [Bythos]. Of these shoots one is manifested from above, 
which is the Great Power, the Universal Mind ordering all things, male, and the other, [is manifested] 
from below, the Great Thought, female, producing all things. Hence pairing with each other, they 
unite and manifest the Middle Distance, incomprehensible Air, without beginning or end. In this is 
the Father Who sustains all things, and nourishes those things which have a beginning and end." (See 
Simon Magus, by G. R. S. Mead.) By this we are to understand that manifestation is the result of a 
positive and a negative principle, one acting upon the other, and it takes place in the middle plane, or 
point of equilibrium, called the pleroma. This pleroma is a peculiar substance produced out of the 
blending of the spiritual and material aeons. Out of the pleroma was individualized the Demiurgus, 
the immortal mortal, to whom we are responsible for our physical existence and the suffering we 
must go through in connection with it. In the Gnostic system, three pairs of opposites, called Syzygies, 
emanated from the Eternal One. These, with Himself, make the total of seven. The six (three pairs) 

iEons (living, divine principles) were described by Simon in the Philosophumena in the following 
manner: The first two were Mind (Nous) and Thought (Epinoia). Then came Voice (Phone) and its 
opposite, Name (Onoma), and lastly. Reason (Logismos) and Reflection (Enthumesis). From these 
primordial six, united with the Eternal Flame, came forth the vEons (Angels) who formed the lower 
worlds through the direction of the Demiurgus. (See the works of H. P. Blavatsky.) How this first 
Gnosticism of Simon Magus and Menander, his disciple, was amplified, and frequently distorted, by 
later adherents to the cult must now be considered. 

The School of Gnosticism was divided into two major parts, commonly called the Syrian Cult and the 
Alexandrian Cult. These schools agreed in essentials, but the latter division was more inclined to be 
pantheistic, while the former was dualistic. While the Syrian cult was largely Simonian, the 
Alexandrian School was the outgrowth of the philosophical deductions of a clever Egyptian Christian, 
Basilides by name, who claimed to have received his instructions from the Apostle Matthew. Like 
Simon Magus, he was an emanationist, with Neo-Platonic inclinations. In fact, the entire Gnostic 
Mystery is based upon the hypothesis of emanations as being the logical connection between the 
irreconcilable opposites Absolute Spirit and Absolute Substance, which the Gnostics believed to have 
been coexistent in Eternity. Some assert that Basilides was the true founder of Gnosticism, but there 
is much evidence to the effect that Simon Magus laid down its fundamental principles in the 
preceding century. 

The Alexandrian Basilides inculcated Egyptian Hermeticism, Oriental occultism, Chaldean astrology, 
and Persian philosophy in his followers, and in his doctrines sought to unite the schools of early 
Christianity with the ancient pagan Mysteries. To him is attributed the formulation of that peculiar 
concept of the Deity which carries the name of Abraxas. In discussing the original meaning of this 
word, Godfrey Higgins, in his Celtic Druids, has demonstrated that the numerological powers of the 
letters forming the word Abraxas when added together result in the sum of 365. The same author also 
notes that the name Mithras when treated in a similar manner has the same numerical value. 
Basilides caught that the 


From the Nuremberg Chronicle. 

Simon Magus, having called upon the Spirits of the Air, is here shown being picked up by the demons. St. Peter demands 
that the evil genii release their hold upon the magician. The demons are forced to comply and Simon Magus is killed by 
the fall. 

p. 26 

powers of the universe were divided into 365 ^ons, or spiritual cycles, and that the sum of all these 
together was the Supreme Father, and to Him he gave the Qabbalistical appellation Abraxas, as being 
symbolical, numerologically, of His divine powers, attributes, and emanations. Abraxas is usually 
symbolized as a composite creature, with the body of a human being and the head of a rooster, and 
with each of his legs ending in a serpent. C. W. King, in his Gnostics and Their Remains, gives the 
following concise description of the Gnostic philosophy of Basilides, quoting from the writings of the 
early Christian bishop and martyr, St. Irengeus: "He asserted that God, the uncreated, eternal Father, 
had first brought forth Nous, or Mind; this the Logos, Word; this again Phronesis, Intelligence; from 
Phronesis sprung Sophia, Wisdom, and Dynamis, Strength." 

In describing Abraxas, C. W. King says: "Bellermann considers the composite image, inscribed with 
the actual name Abraxas, to be a Gnostic Pantheos, representing the Supreme Being, with the Five 
Emanations marked out by appropriate symbols. From the human body, the usual form assigned to 
the Deity, spring the two supporters, Nous and Logos, expressed in the serpents, symbols of the inner 
senses, and the quickening understanding; on which account the Greeks had made the serpent the 
attribute of Pallas. His head—that of a cock—represents Phronesis, that bird being the emblem of 
foresight and of vigilance. His two arms hold the symbols of Sophia and Dynamis: the shield of 
Wisdom and the whip of Power." 

The Gnostics were divided in their opinions concerning the Demiurgus, or creator of the lower worlds. 
He established the terrestrial universe with the aid of six sons, or emanations (possibly the planetary 
Angels) which He formed out of, and yet within. Himself. As stated before, the Demiurgus was 
individualized as the lowest creation out of the substance called p/eroma. One group of the Gnostics 
was of the opinion that the Demiurgus was the cause of all misery and was an evil creature, who by 
building this lower world had separated the souls of men from truth by encasing them in mortal 
vehicles. The other sect viewed the Demiurgus as being divinely inspired and merely fulfilling the 
dictates of the invisible Lord. Some Gnostics were of the opinion that the Jewish God, Jehovah, was 
the Demiurgus. This concept, under a slightly different name, apparently influenced mediaeval 
Rosicrucianism, which viewed Jehovah as the Lord of the material universe rather than as the 
Supreme Deity. Mythology abounds with the stories of gods who partook of both celestial and 
terrestrial natures. Odin, of Scandinavia, is a good example of a deity subject to mortality, bowing 
before the laws of Nature and yet being, in certain senses at least, a Supreme Deity. 

The Gnostic vieM^oint concerning the Christ is well worthy of consideration. This order claimed to be 
the only sect to have actual pictures of the Divine Syrian. While these were, in all probability, 
idealistic conceptions of the Savior based upon existing sculpturings and paintings of the pagan sun 
gods, they were all Christianity had. To the Gnostics, the Christ was the personification of Nous, the 
Divine Mind, and emanated from the higher spiritual iEons. He descended into the body of Jesus at 
the baptism and left it again before the crucifixion. The Gnostics declared that the Christ was not 
crucified, as this Divine Nous could not suffer death, but that Simon, the Cyrenian, offered his life 
instead and that the Nous, by means of its power, caused Simon to resemble Jesus. Irenseus makes 
the following statement concerning the cosmic sacrifice of the Christ: 

"When the uncreated, unnamed Father saw the corruption of mankind. He sent His firstborn. Nous, 
into the world, in the form of Christ, for the redemption of all who believe in Him, out of the power of 
those that have fabricated the world (the Demiurgus, and his six sons, the planetary genii). He 
appeared amongst men as the Man Jesus, and wrought miracles." (See King's Gnostics and Their 

The Gnostics divided humanity into three parts: those who, as savages, worshiped only the visible 

Nature; those who, like the Jews, worshiped the Demiurgus; and lastly, themselves, or others of a 
similar cult, including certain sects of Christians, who worshiped Nous (Christ) and the true spiritual 
light of the higher vEons. 

After the death of Basilides, Valentinus became the leading inspiration of the Gnostic movement. He 
still further complicated the system of Gnostic philosophy by adding infinitely to the details. He 
increased the number of emanations from the Great One (the Abyss) to fifteen pairs and also laid 
much emphasis on the Virgin Sophia, or Wisdom. In the Books of the Savior, parts of which are 
commonly known as the Pistis Sophia, may be found much material concerning this strange doctrine 
of i^lons and their strange inhabitants. James Freeman Clarke, in speaking of the doctrines of the 
Gnostics, says: "These doctrines, strange as they seem to us, had a wide influence in the Christian 
Church." Many of the theories of the ancient Gnostics, especially those concerning scientific subjects, 
have been substantiated by modern research. Several sects branched off from the main stem of 
Gnosticism, such as the Valentinians, the Ophites (serpent worshipers), and the Adamites. After the 
third century their power waned, and the Gnostics practically vanished from the philosophic world. 
An effort was made during the Middle Ages to resurrect the principles of Gnosticism, but owing to the 
destruction of their records the material necessary was not available. Even today there are evidences 
of Gnostic philosophy in the modern world, but they bear other names and their true origin is not 
suspected. Many of the Gnostic concepts have actually been incorporated into the dogmas of the 
Christian Church, and our newer interpretations of Christianity are often along the lines of Gnostic 



The identity of the Greco-Egyptian Serapis (known to the Greeks as Serapis and the Egyptians as 
Asar-Hapi) is shrouded by an impenetrable veil of mystery. While this deity was a familiar figure 
among the symbols of the secret Egyptian initiatory rites, his arcane nature was revealed only to those 
who had fulfilled the requirements of the Serapic cultus. Therefore, in all probability, excepting the 
initiated priests, the Egyptians themselves were ignorant of his true character. So far as known, there 
exists no authentic account of the rites of Serapis, but an analysis of the deity and his accompanying 
symbols reveals their salient points. In an oracle delivered to the King of Cyprus, Serapis described 
himself thus: 

"A god I am such as I show to thee. 
The Starry Heavens are my head, my trunk the sea. 
Earth forms my feet, mine ears the air supplies. 
The Sun's far-darting, brilliant rays, mine eyes." 

Several unsatisfactory attempts have been made to etymologize the word Serapis. Godfrey Higgins 
notes that Soros was the name given by the Egyptians to a stone coffin, and Apis was Osiris incarnate 
in the sacred bull. These two words combined result in Soros-Apis or Sor-Apis, "the tomb of the bull." 
But it is improbable that the Egyptians would worship a coffin in the form of a man. 

Several ancient authors, including Macrobius, have affirmed that Serapis was a name for the Sun, 
because his image so often had a halo of light about its head. In his Oration Upon the Sovereign Sun, 
Julian speaks of the deity in these words: "One Jove, one Pluto, one Sun is Serapis." In Hebrew, 
Serapis is Saraph, meaning "to blaze out" or "to blaze up." For this reason the Jews designated one of 
their hierarchies of spiritual beings. Seraphim. 

The most common theory, however, regarding the origin of the name Serapis is that which traces its 

derivation from the compound Osiris-Apis. At one time the Egyptians believed that the dead were 
absorbed into the nature of Osiris, the god of the dead. While marked similarity exists between Osiris- 
Apis and Serapis, the theory advanced by Egyptologists that Serapis is merely a name given to the 
dead Apis, or sacred bull of Egypt, is untenable in view of the transcendent wisdom possessed by the 
Egyptian priestcraft, who, in all probability, used the god to symbolize the soul of the world {anima 
mundi). The material body of Nature was called Apzs; the soul which escaped from the body at death 
but was enmeshed with the form during physical life was designated Serapis. 

C. W. King believes Serapis to be a deity of Brahmanic extraction, his name being the Grecianized 
form of Ser-adah or Sri-pa, two titles ascribed to Yama, the Hindu god of death. This appears 
reasonable, especially since there is a legend to the effect that Serapis, in the form of a bull, was 
driven by Bacchus from India to Egypt. The priority of the Hindu Mysteries would further 
substantiate such a theory. 

Among other meanings suggested for the word Serapis are: "The Sacred Bull," "The Sun in Taurus," 
"The Soul of Osiris," "The Sacred Serpent," and "The Retiring of the Bull." The last appellation has 
reference to the ceremony of drowning the sacred Apis in the waters of the Nile every twenty-five 

This Gnostic gem represents by its serpentine body the pathway of the Sun and by its Hon head the exaltation of the solar 
in the constellation of Leo. 


From Montfaucon 's Antiquities. 


From Montfaucon 's Antiquities. 

Labyrinths and mazes were favored places of initiation among many ancient cults. Remains of these mystic mazes have 
been found among the American Indians, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, and Greeks. Some of these mazes are merely 
involved pathways lined with stones; others are literally miles of gloomy caverns under temples or hollowed from the 
sides of mountains. The famous labyrinth of Crete, in which roamed the bull-headed Minotaur, was unquestionably a 
place of initiation into the Cretan Mysteries. 

p. 27 

There is considerable evidence that the famous statue of Serapis in the Serapeum at Alexandria was 
originally worshiped under another name at Sinope, from which it was brought to Alexandria. There 
is also a legend which tells that Serapis was a very early king of the Egyptians, to whom they owed the 
foundation of their philosophical and scientific power. After his death this king was elevated to the 
estate of a god. Phylarchus declared that the word Serapis means "the power that disposed the 
universe into its present beautiful order." 

In his Isis and Osiris, Plutarch gives the following account of the origin of the magnificent statue of 
Serapis which stood in the Serapeum at Alexandria: 

While he was Pharaoh of Egypt, Ptolemy Soter had a strange dream in which he beheld a tremendous 
statue, which came to life and ordered the Pharaoh to bring it to Alexandria with all possible speed. 
Ptolemy Soter, not knowing the whereabouts of the statue, was sorely perplexed as to how he could 
discover it. While the Pharaoh was relating his dream, a great traveler by the name of Sosibius, 
coming forward, declared that he had seen such an image at Sinope. The Pharaoh immediately 
dispatched Soteles and Dionysius to negotiate for the removal of the figure to Alexandria. Three years 
elapsed before the image was finally obtained, the representatives of the Pharaoh finally stealing it 
and concealing the theft by spreading a story that the statue had come to life and, walking down the 
street leading from its temple, had boarded the ship prepared for its transportation to Alexandria. 
Upon its arrival in Egypt, the figure was brought into the presence of two Egyptian Initiates—the 
Eumolpid Timotheus and Manetho the Sebennite~who, immediately pronounced it to be Serapis. 
The priests then declared that it was equipollent to Pluto. This was a masterly stroke, for in Serapis 
the Greeks and Egyptians found a deity in common and thus religious unity was consummated 
between the two nations. 

Several figures of Serapis that stood in his various temples in Egypt and Rome have been described by 
early authors. Nearly all these showed Grecian rather than Egyptian influence. In some the body of 
the god was encircled by the coils of a great serpent. Others showed him as a composite of Osiris and 

A description of the god that in all probability is reasonably accurate is that which represents him as a 
tall, powerful figure, conveying the twofold impression of manly strength and womanly grace. His 
face portrayed a deeply pensive mood, the expression inclining toward sadness. His hair was long and 
arranged in a somewhat feminine manner, resting in curls upon his breast and shoulders. The face, 
save for its heavy beard, was also decidedly feminine. The figure of Serapis was usually robed from 
head to foot in heavy draperies, believed by initiates to conceal the fact that his body was 

Various substances were used in making the statues of Serapis. Some undoubtedly were carved from 
stone or marble by skilled craftsmen; others may have been cast from base or precious metals. One 
colossus of Serapis was composed of plates of various metals fitted together. In a labyrinth sacred to 
Serapis stood a thirteen-foot statue of him reputed to have been made from a single emerald. Modern 
writers, discussing this image, state that it was made of green glass poured into a mold. According to 
the Egyptians, however, it withstood all the tests of an actual emerald. 

Clement of Alexandria describes a figure of Serapis compounded from the following elements: First, 
filings of gold, silver, lead, and tin; second, all manner of Egyptian stones, including sapphires, 
hematites, emeralds, and topazes; all these being ground down and mixed together with the coloring 
matter left over from the funeral of Osiris and Apis. The result was a rare and curious figure, indigo in 
color. Some of the statues of Serapis must have been formed of extremely hard substances, for when a 
Christian soldier, carrying out the edict of Theodosius, struck the Alexandrian Serapis with his ax, 
that instrument was shattered into fragments and sparks flew from it. It is also quite probable that 
Serapis was worshiped in the form of a serpent, in common with many of the higher deities of the 
Egyptian and Greek pantheons. 

Serapis was called Theon Heptagrammaton, or the god with the name of seven letters. The name 
Serapis (like Abraxas and Mithras) contains seven letters. In their hymns to Serapis the priests 
chanted the seven vowels. Occasionally Serapis is depicted with horns or a coronet of seven rays. 
These evidently represented the seven divine intelligences manifesting through the solar light. The 
Encyclopgedia Britannica notes that the earliest authentic mention of Serapis is in connection with 
the death of Alexander. Such was the prestige of Serapis that he alone of the gods was consulted in 
behalf of the dying king. 

The Egyptian secret school of philosophy was divided into the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries, the 
former being sacred to Isis and the latter to Serapis and Osiris. Wilkinson is of the opinion that only 
the priests were permitted to enter the Greater Mysteries. Even the heir to the throne was not eligible 
until he had been crowned Pharaoh, when, by virtue of his kingly office, he automatically became a 
priest and the temporal head of the state religion. (See Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the 
Egyptians.) A limited number were admitted into the Greater Mysteries: these preserved their secrets 

Much of the information concerning the rituals of the higher degrees of the Egyptian Mysteries has 
been gleaned from an examination of the chambers and passageways in which the initiations were 
given. Under the temple of Serapis destroyed by Theodosius were found strange mechanical 
contrivances constructed by the priests in the subterranean crypts and caverns where the nocturnal 
initiatory rites were celebrated. These machines indicate the severe tests of moral and physical 
courage undergone by the candidates. After passing through these tortuous ways, the neophytes who 
Survived the ordeals were ushered into the presence of Serapis, a noble and awe-inspiring figure 
illumined by unseen lights. 

Labyrinths were also a striking feature in connection with the Rice of Serapis, and E. A. Wallis Budge, 
in his Gods of the Egyptians, depicts Serapis(Minotaur-like) with the body of a man and the head of a 
bull. Labyrinths were symbolic of the involvements and illusions of the lower world through which 
wanders the soul of man in its search for truth. In the labyrinth dwells the lower animal man with the 
head of the bull, who seeks to destroy the soul entangled in the maze of worldly ignorance. In this 
relation Serapis becomes the Tryer or Adversary who tests the souls of those seeking union with the 
Immortals. The maze was also doubtless used to represent the solar system, the Bull-Man 
representing the sun dwelling in the mystic maze of its planets, moons, and asteroids. 

The Gnostic Mysteries were acquainted with the arcane meaning of Serapis, and through the medium 
of Gnosticism this god became inextricably associated with early Christianity. In fact, the Emperor 
Hadrian, while traveling in Egypt in A.D. 24, declared in a letter to Servianus that the worshipers of 
Serapis were Christians and that the Bishops of the church also worshiped at his shrine. He even 
declared that the Patriarch himself, when in Egypt, was forced to adore Serapis as well as Christ. (See 
Parsons' New Light on the Great Pyramid.) 

The little-suspected importance of Serapis as a prototype of Christ can be best appreciated after a 
consideration of the following extract from C. W. King's Gnostics and Their Remains: "There can be 

no doubt that the head of Serapis, marked as the face is by a grave and pensive majesty, suppHed the 
first idea for the conventional portraits of the Saviour. The Jewish prejudices of the first converts 
were so powerful that we may be sure no attempt was made to depict His countenance until some 
generations after all that had beheld it on earth had passed away." 

Serapis gradually usurped the positions previously occupied by the other Egyptian and Greek gods, 
and became the supreme deity of both religions. His power continued until the fourth century of 


From Mosaize Historie der Hebreeuwse Kerke. 

Serapis is often shown standing on the back of the sacred crocodile, carrying in his left hand a rule with which to measure 
the inundations of the Nile, and balancing with his right hand a curious emblem consisting of an animal with the heads. 
The first head—that of a lion—signified the present; the second head— that of a wolf— the past; and the third head— that of a 
dog— the future. The body with its three heads was enveloped by the twisted coils of a serpent. Figures of Serapis are 
occasionally accompanied by Cerberus, the three-headed dog of Pluto, and— like Jupiter— carry baskets of grain upon their 

p. 28 

the Christian Era. In A.D. 385, Theodosius, that would-be exterminator of pagan philosophy, issued 
his memorable edict De Idolo Serapidis Diruendo. When the Christian soldiers, in obedience to this 
order, entered the Serapeum at Alexandria to destroy the image of Serapis which had stood there for 
centuries, so great was their veneration for the god that they dared not touch the image lest the 
ground should open at their feet and engulf them. At length, overcoming their fear, they demolished 
the statue, sacked the building, and finally as a fitting climax to their offense burned the magnificent 
library which was housed within the lofty apartments of the Serapeum. Several writers have recorded 
the remarkable fact that Christian symbols were found in the ruined foundations of this pagan temple 
Socrates, a church historian of the fifth century, declared that after the pious Christians had razed the 
Serapeum at Alexandria and scattered the demons who dwelt there under the guise of gods, beneath 
the foundations was found the monogram of Christ! 

Two quotations will further establish the relationship existing between the Mysteries of Serapis and 
those of other ancient peoples. The first is from Richard Payne Knight's Symbolical Language of 
Ancient Art and Mythology: "Hence Varro [in De Lingua Latina] says that Coelum and Terra, that is 
universal mind and productive body, were the Great Gods of the Samothracian Mysteries; and the 
same as the Serapis and Isis of the later ^Egyptians: the Taautos and Astarte of the Phcenicians, and 
the Saturn and Ops of the Latins." The second quotation is from Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma: 
"'Thee,' says Martianus Capella, in his hymn to the Sun, 'dwellers on the Nile adore as Serapis, and 
Memphis worships as Osiris: in the sacred rites of Persia thou art Mithras, in Phrygia, Atys, and Libya 
bows down to thee as Ammon, and Phoenician Byblos as Adonis; thus the whole world adores thee 
under different names.'" 


The date of the founding of the Odinic Mysteries is uncertain, some writers declaring that they were 
established in the first century before Christ; others, the first century after Christ. Robert Macoy, 33°, 
gives the following description of their origin: "It appears from the northern chronicles that in the 
first century of the Christian Era, Sigge, the chief of the Aser, an Asiatic tribe, emigrated from the 
Caspian sea and the Caucasus into northern Europe. He directed his course northwesterly from the 
Black sea to Russia, over which, according to tradition, he placed one of his sons as a ruler, as he is 
said to have done over the Saxons and the Franks. He then advanced through Cimbria to Denmark, 
which acknowledged his fifth son Skiold as its sovereign, and passed over to Sweden, where Gylf, who 
did homage to the wonderful stranger, and was initiated into his mysteries, then ruled. He soon made 
himself master here, built Sigtuna as the capital of his empire, and promulgated a new code of laws, 
and established the sacred mysteries. He, himself, assumed the name of Odin, founded the priesthood 
of the twelve Drottars (Druids?) who conducted the secret worship, and the administration of justice, 
and, as prophets, revealed the future. The secret rites of these mysteries celebrated the death of 
Balder, the beautiful and lovely, and represented the grief of Gods and men at his death, and his 
restoration to life." {General History of Freemasonry.) 

After his death, the historical Odin was apotheosized, his identity being merged into that of the 
mjrthological Odin, god of wisdom, whose cult he had promulgated. Odinism then supplanted the 
worship of Thor, the thunderer, the supreme deity of the ancient Scandinavian pantheon. The mound 
where, according to legend, King Odin was buried is still to be seen near the site of his great temple at 

The twelve Drottars who presided over the Odinic Mysteries evidently personified the twelve holy 
and ineffable names of Odin. The rituals of the Odinic Mysteries were very similar to those of the 
Greeks, Persians, and Brahmins, after which they were patterned. The Drottars, who symbolized the 
signs of the zodiac, were the custodians of the arts and sciences, which they revealed to those who 
passed successfully the ordeals of initiation. Like many other pagan cults, the Odinic Mysteries, as an 
institution, were destroyed by Christianity, but the underlying cause of their fall was the corruption of 
the priesthood. 

Mythology is nearly always the ritual and the symbolism of a Mystery school. Briefly stated, the 
sacred drama which formed the basis of the Odinic Mysteries was as follows: 

The Supreme, invisible Creator of all things was called All-Father. His regent in Nature was Odin, the 
one-eyed god. Like Quetzalcoatl, Odin was elevated to the dignity of the Supreme Deity. According to 
the Drottars, the universe was fashioned from the body of Ymir, the hoarfrost giant. Ymir was formed 
from the clouds of mist that rose from Ginnungagap, the great cleft in chaos into which the 
primordial frost giants and flame giants had hurled snow and fire. The three gods—Odin, Vili, and Ve- 
-slew Ymir and from him formed the world. From Ymir's various members the different parts of 
Nature were fashioned. 

After Odin had established order, he caused a wonderful palace, called Asgard, to be built on the top 

of a mountain, and here the twelve ^^Isir (gods) dwelt together, far above the limitations of mortal 
men. On this mountain also was Valhalla, the palace of the slain, where those who had heroically died 
fought and feasted day after day. Each night their wounds were healed and the boar whose flesh they 
ate renewed itself as rapidly as it was consumed. 

Balder the Beautiful—the Scandinavian Christ —was the beloved son of Odin. Balder was not warlike; 
his kindly and beautiful spirit brought peace and joy to the hearts of the gods, and they all loved him 
save one. As Jesus had a Judas among His twelve disciples, so one of the twelve gods was false—Loki, 
the personification of evil. Loki caused Hothr, the blind god of fate, to shoot Balder with a mistletoe 
arrow. With the death of Balder, light and joy vanished from the lives of the other deities. 
Heartbroken, the gods gathered to find a method whereby they could resurrect this spirit of eternal 
life and youth. The result was the establishment of the Mysteries. 

The Odinic Mysteries were given in underground crypts or caves, the chambers, nine in number, 
representing the Nine Worlds of the Mysteries. The candidate seeking admission was assigned the 
task of raising Balder from the dead. Although he did not realize it, he himself played the part of 
Balder. He called himself a wanderer; the caverns through which he passed were symbolic of the 
worlds and spheres of Nature. The priests who initiated him were emblematic of the sun, the moon, 
and the stars. The three supreme initiators—the Sublime, the Equal to the Sublime, and the Highest— 
were analogous to the Worshipful Master and the junior and Senior Wardens of a Masonic lodge. 

After wandering for hours through the intricate passageways, the candidate was ushered into the 
presence of a statue of Balder the Beautiful, the prototype of all initiates into the Mysteries. This 
figure stood in the center of a great apartment roofed with shields. In the midst of the chamber stood 
a plant with seven blossoms, emblematic of the planers. In this room, which symbolized the house of 
the i^sir, or Wisdom, the neophyte took his oath of secrecy and piety upon the naked blade of a sword. 
He drank the sanctified mead from a bowl made of a human skull and, having passed successfully 
through all the tortures and trials designed to divert him from the course of wisdom, he was finally 
permitted to unveil the mystery of Odin—the personification of wisdom. He was presented, in the 
name of Balder, with the sacred ring of the order; he was hailed as a man reborn; and it was said of 
him that he had died and had been raised again without passing through the gates of death. 

Richard Wagner's immortal composition, Der Ring des Nibelungen, is based upon the Mystery rituals 
of the Odinic cult. While the great composer took many liberties with the original story, the Ring 
Operas, declared to be the grandest tetralogy of music dramas the world possesses, have caught and 
preserved in a remarkable manner the majesty and power of the original sagas. Beginning with Das 
Rheingold, the action proceeds through Die Walkilre and Siegfried to an awe-inspiring climax in 
Gdtterddmmerung, "The Twilight of the Gods." 


The Nordic Mysteries were given in nine chambers, or caverns, the candidate advancing through them in sequential order. 
These chambers of initiation represented the nine spheres into which the Drottars divided the universe: (i) Asgard, the 
Heaven World of the Gods; (2) Alf-heim, the World of the light and beautiful Elves, or Spirits; (3) Nifl-heim, the World of 
Cold and Darkness, which is located in the North; (4) Jotun-heim, the World of the Giants, which is located in the East; (5) 
Midgard, the Earth World of human beings, which is located in the midst, or middle place; (6) Vana-heim, the World of 
the Vanes, which is located in the West; (7) Muspells-heim, the World of Fire, which is located in the South; 8) Svart-alfa- 
heim, the World of the dark and treacherous Elves, which is under the earth; and (9) Hel-heim, the World of cold and the 
abode of the dead, which is located at the very lowest point of the universe. It is to be understood that all of these worlds 
are invisible to the senses, except Midgard, the home of human creatures, but during the process of initiation the soul of 
the candidate—liberated from its earthly sheath by the secret power of the priests—wanders amidst the inhabitants of 
these various spheres. There is undoubtedly a relationship between the nine worlds of the Scandinavians and the nine 
spheres, or planes, through which initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries passed in their ritual of regeneration. 

p. 29 

The Ancient Mysteries and Secret Societies 

Part Three 

THE most famous of the ancient religious Mysteries were the Eleusinian, whose rites were celebrated 
every five years in the city of Eleusis to honor Ceres (Demeter, Rhea, or Isis) and her daughter, 
Persephone. The initiates of the Eleusinian School were famous throughout Greece for the beauty of 
their philosophic concepts and the high standards of morality which they demonstrated in their daily 
lives. Because of their excellence, these Mysteries spread to Rome and Britain, and later the 
initiations were given in both these countries. The Eleusinian Mysteries, named for the community in 
Attica where the sacred dramas were first presented, are generally believed to have been founded by 
Eumolpos about fourteen hundred years before the birth of Christ, and through the Platonic system 
of philosophy their principles have been preserved to modern times. 

The rites of Eleusis, with their Mystic interpretations of Nature's most precious secrets, 
overshadowed the civilizations of their time and gradually absorbed many smaller schools, 
incorporating into their own system whatever valuable information these lesser institutions possessed. 
Heckethorn sees in the Mysteries of Ceres and Bacchus a metamorphosis of the rites of Isis and Osiris, 
and there is every reason to believe that all so-called secret schools of the ancient world were 
branches from one philosophic tree which, with its root in heaven and its branches on the earth, is~ 
like the spirit of man—an invisible but ever-present cause of the objectified vehicles that give it 
expression. The Mysteries were the channels through which this one philosophic light was 
disseminated, and their initiates, resplendent with intellectual and spiritual understanding, were the 
perfect fruitage of the divine tree, bearing witness before the material world of the recondite source of 
all Light and Truth. 

The rites of Eleusis were divided into what were called the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries. 
According to James Gardner, the Lesser Mysteries were celebrated in the spring (probably at the time 
of the vernal equinox) in the town of Agrse, and the Greater, in the fall (the time of the autumnal 
equinox) at Eleusis or Athens. It is supposed that the former were given annually and the latter every 
five years. The rituals of the Eleusinians were highly involved, and to understand them required a 
deep study of Greek mythology, which they interpreted in its esoteric light with the aid of their secret 

The Lesser Mysteries were dedicated to Persephone. In his Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, 
Thomas Taylor sums up their purpose as follows: "The Lesser Mysteries were designed by the ancient 
theologists, their founders, to signify occultly the condition of the unpurified soul invested with an 
earthy body, and enveloped in a material and physical nature." 

The legend used in the Lesser rites is that of the abduction of the goddess Persephone, the daughter of 
Ceres, by Pluto, the lord of the underworld, or Hades. While Persephone is picking flowers in a 
beautiful meadow, the earth suddenly opens and the gloomy lord of death, riding in a magnificent 
chariot, emerges from its somber depths and, grasping her in his arms, carries the screaming and 
struggling goddess to his subterranean palace, where he forces her to become his queen. 

It is doubtful whether many of the initiates themselves understood the mystic meaning of this 
allegory, for most of them apparently believed that it referred solely to the succession of the seasons. 
It is difficult to obtain satisfactory information concerning the Mysteries, for the candidates were 
bound by inviolable oaths never to reveal their inner secrets to the profane. At the beginning of the 
ceremony of initiation, the candidate stood upon the skins of animals sacrificed for the purpose, and 

vowed that death should seal his lips before he would divulge the sacred truths which were about to 
be communicated to him. Through indirect channels, however, some of their secrets have been 
preserved. The teachings given to the neophytes were substantially as follows: 

The soul of man—often called Psyche, and in the Eleusinian Mysteries symbolized by Persephone~is 
essentially a spiritual thing. Its true home is in the higher worlds, where, free from the bondage of 
material form and material concepts, it is said to be truly alive and self-expressive. The human, or 
physical, nature of man, according to this doctrine, is a tomb, a quagmire, a false and impermanent 
thing, the source of all sorrow and suffering. Plato describes the body as the sepulcher of the soul; and 
by this he means not only the human form but also the human nature. 

The gloom and depression of the Lesser Mysteries represented the agony of the spiritual soul unable 
to express itself because it has accepted the limitations and illusions of the human environment. The 
crux of the Eleusinian argument was that man is neither better nor wiser after death than during life. 
If he does not rise above ignorance during his sojourn here, man goes at death into eternity to wander 
about forever, making the same mistakes which he made here. If he does not outgrow the desire for 
material possessions here, he will carry it with him into the invisible world, where, because he can 
never gratify the desire, he will continue in endless agony. Dante's Inferno is symbolically descriptive 
of the sufferings of those who never freed their spiritual natures from the cravings, habits, viewpoints, 
and limitations of their Plutonic personalities. Those who made no endeavor to improve themselves 
(whose souls have slept) during their physical lives, passed at death into Hades, where, lying in rows, 
they slept through all eternity as they had slept through life. 

To the Eleusinian philosophers, birch into the physical world was death in the fullest sense of the 
word, and the only true birth was that of the spiritual soul of man rising out of the womb of his own 
fleshly nature. "The soul is dead that slumbers," says Longfellow, and in this he strikes the keynote of 
the Eleusinian Mysteries. Just as Narcissus, gazing at himself in the water (the ancients used this 
mobile element to symbolize the transitory, illusionary, material universe) lost his life trying to 
embrace a reflection, so man, gazing into the mirror of Nature and accepting as his real self the 
senseless clay that he sees reflected, loses the opportunity afforded by physical life to unfold his 
immortal, invisible Self. 

An ancient initiate once said that the living are ruled by the dead. Only those conversant with the 
Eleusinian concept of life could understand that statement. It means that the majority of people are 
not ruled by their living spirits but by their senseless (hence dead) animal personalities. 
Transmigration and reincarnation were taught in these Mysteries, but in a somewhat unusual manner. 
It was believed that at midnight the invisible worlds were closest to the Terrestrial sphere and that 
souls coming into material existence slipped in during the midnight hour. For this reason many of the 


From Thomassin's Recucil des Figures, Groupes, Themes, Fontaines, Vases et autres Omements. 

Pluto, the lord of the underworld, represents the body intelligence of man; and the rape of Persephone is symbolic of the 
divine nature assaulted and defiled by the animal soul and dragged downward into the somber darkness of Hades, which 
is here used as a synonym for the material, or objective, sphere of consciousness. 

In his Disquisitions upon the Painted Greek Vases, James Christie presents Meursius' version of the occurrences taking 
place during the nine days required for the enactment of the Greater Eleusinian Rites. The first day was that of general 
meeting, during which those to be initiated were questioned concerning their several qualifications. The second day was 
spent in a procession to the sea, possibly for the submerging of a image of the presiding goddess. The third day was 
opened by the sacrifice of a mullet. On the fourth day the mystic basket containing certain sacred symbols was brought to 
Eleusis, accompanied by a number of female devotees carrying smaller baskets. On the evening of the fifth day there was a 
torch race, on the sixth a procession led by a statue of lacchus, and on the seventh an athletic contest. The eighth day was 
devoted to a repetition of the ceremonial for the benefit of any who might have been prevented from coming sooner. The 
ninth and last day was devoted to the deepest philosophical issues of the Eleusinia, during which an urn or jar—the 
symbol of Bacchus—was exhibited as an emblem of supreme importance. 

p- 30 

ceremonies were performed at midnight. Some of those sleeping spirits who had failed to awaken 
their higher natures during the earth life and who now floated around in the invisible worlds, 
surrounded by a darkness of their own making, occasionally slipped through at this hour and 
assumed the forms of various creatures. 

The mystics of Eleusis also laid stress upon the evil of suicide, explaining that there was a profound 
mystery concerning this crime of which they could not speak, but warning their disciples that a great 
sorrow comes to all who take their own lives. This, in substance, constitutes the esoteric doctrine 
given to the initiates of the Lesser Mysteries. As the degree dealt largely with the miseries of those 
who failed to make the best use of their philosophic opportunities, the chambers of initiation were 
subterranean and the horrors of Hades were vividly depicted in a complicated ritualistic drama. After 
passing successfully through the tortuous passageways, with their trials and dangers, the candidate 
received the honorary title of Mystes. This meant one who saw through a veil or had a clouded vision. 

It also signified that the candidate had been brought up to the veil, which would be torn away in the 
higher degree. The modern word mystic, as referring to a seeker after truth according to the dictates 
of the heart along the path of faith, is probably derived from this ancient word, for faith is belief in the 
reality of things unseen or veiled. 

The Greater Mysteries (into which the candidate was admitted only after he had successfully passed 
through the ordeals of the Lesser, and not always then) were sacred to Ceres, the mother of 
Persephone, and represent her as wandering through the world in quest of her abducted daughter. 
Ceres carried two torches, intuition and reason, to aid her in the search for her lost child (the soul). At 
last she found Persephone not far from Eleusis, and out of gratitude taught the people there to 
cultivate corn, which is sacred to her. She also founded the Mysteries. Ceres appeared before Pluto, 
god of the souls of the dead, and pleaded with him to allow Persephone to return to her home. This 
the god at first refused to do, because Persephone had eaten of the pomegranate, the fruit of mortality. 
At last, however, he compromised and agreed to permit Persephone to live in the upper world half of 
the year if she would stay with him in the darkness of Hades for the remaining half. 

The Greeks believed that Persephone was a manifestation of the solar energy, which in the winter 
months lived under the earth with Pluto, but in the summer returned again with the goddess of 
productiveness. There is a legend that the flowers loved Persephone and that every year when she left 
for the dark realms of Pluto, the plants and shrubs would die of grief. While the profane and 
uninitiated had their own opinions on these subjects, the truths of the Greek allegories remained 
safely concealed by the priests, who alone recognized the sublimity of these great philosophic and 
religious parables. 

Thomas Taylor epitomizes the doctrines of the Greater Mysteries in the following statement: "The 
Greater (Mysteries) obscurely intimated, by mystic and splendid visions, the felicity of the soul both 
here and hereafter when purified from the defilement of a material nature, and constantly elevated to 
the realities of intellectual (spiritual) vision." 

Just as the Lesser Mysteries discussed the prenatal epoch of man when the consciousness in its nine 
days (embryologically, months) was descending into the realm of illusion and assuming the veil of 
unreality, so the Greater Mysteries discussed the principles of spiritual regeneration and revealed to 
initiates not only the simplest but also the most direct and complete method of liberating their higher 
natures from the bondage of material ignorance. Like Prometheus chained to the top of Mount 
Caucasus, man's higher nature is chained to his inadequate personality. The nine days of initiation 
were also symbolic of the nine spheres through which the human soul descends during the process of 
assuming a terrestrial form. The secret exercises for spiritual unfoldment given to disciples of the 
higher degrees are unknown, but there is every reason to believe that they were similar to the 
Brahmanic Mysteries, since it is known that the Eleusinian ceremonies were closed with the Sanskrit 
words "Konx Om Pax." 

That part of the allegory referring to the two six-month periods during one of which Persephone must 
remain with Pluto, while during the other she may revisit the upper world, offers material for deep 
consideration. It is probable that the Eleusinians realized that the soul left the body during steep, or 
at least was made capable of leaving by the special training which undoubtedly they were in a position 
to give. Thus Persephone would remain as the queen of Pluto's realm during the waking hours, but 
would ascend to the spiritual worlds during the periods of sleep. The initiate was taught how to 
intercede with Pluto to permit Persephone (the initiate's soul) to ascend from the darkness of his 
material nature into the light of understanding. When thus freed from the shackles of clay and 
crystallized concepts, the initiate was liberated not only for the period of his life but for all eternity, 
for never thereafter was he divested of those soul qualities which after death were his vehicles for 
manifestation and expression in the so-called heaven world. 

In contrast to the idea of Hades as a state of darkness below, the gods were said to inhabit the tops of 

mountains, a well-known example being Mount Olympus, where the twelve deities of the Greek 
pantheon were said to dwell together. In his initiatory wanderings the neophyte therefore entered 
chambers of ever-increasing brilliancy to portray the ascent of the spirit from the lower worlds into 
the realms of bliss. As the climax to such wanderings he entered a great vaulted room, in the center of 
which stood a brilliantly illumined statue of the goddess Ceres. Here, in the presence of the 
hierophant and surrounded by priests in magnificent robes, he was instructed in the highest of the 
secret mysteries of the Eleusis. At the conclusion of this ceremony he was hailed as an Epoptes, which 
means one who has beheld or seen directly. For this reason also initiation was termed autopsy. The 
Epoptes was then given certain sacred books, probably written in cipher, together with tablets of 
stone on which secret instructions were engraved. 

In The Obelisk in Freemasonry, John A. Weisse describes the officiating personages of the Eleusinian 
Mysteries as consisting of a male and a female hierophant who directed the initiations; a male and a 
female torchbearer; a male herald; and a male and a female altar attendant. There were also 
numerous minor officials. He states that, according to Porphyry, the hierophant represents Plato's 
Demiurgus, or Creator of the world; the torch bearer, the Sun; the altar man, the Moon; the herald, 
Hermes, or Mercury; and the other officials, minor stars. 

From the records available, a number of strange and apparently supernatural phenomena 
accompanied the rituals. Many initiates claim to have actually seen the living gods themselves. 
Whether this was the result of religious ecstasy or the actual cooperation of invisible powers with the 
visible priests must remain a mystery. In The Metamorphosis, or Golden Ass, Apuleius thus describes 
what in all probability is his initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries: 

"I approached to the confines of death, and having trod on the threshold of Proserpine I, returned 
from it, being carried through all the elements. At midnight I saw the sun shining with a splendid 
light; and I manifestly drew near to, the gods beneath, and the gods above, and proximately adored 

Women and children were admitted to the Eleusinian Mysteries, and at one time there were literally 
thousands of initiates. Because this vast host was not prepared for the highest spiritual and mystical 
doctrines, a division necessarily took place within the society itself. The higher teachings were given 
to only a limited number of initiates who, because of superior mentality, showed a comprehensive 
grasp of their underlying philosophical concepts. Socrates refused to be initiated into the Eleusinian 
Mysteries, for knowing its principles without being a member of the order he realized that 
membership would seal his tongue. That the Mysteries of Eleusis were based upon great and eternal 
truths is attested by the veneration in which they were held by the great minds of the ancient world. 
M. Ouvaroff asks, "Would Pindar, Plato, Cicero, Epictetus, have spoken of them with such admiration, 
if the hierophant had satisfied himself with loudly proclaiming his own opinions, or those of his 

The garments in which candidates were initiated were preserved for many years and were believed to 
possess almost sacred properties. Just as the soul can have no covering save wisdom and virtue, so 
the candidates—being as yet without true knowledge—were presented to the Mysteries unclothed, 
being first: given the skin of an animal and later a consecrated robe to symbolize the philosophical 
teachings received by the initiate. During the course of initiation the candidate 


From a mural painting in Pompeii. 

Ceres, or Demeter, was the daughter of Kronos and Rhea, and by Zeus the mother of Persephone. Some beUeve her to be 
the goddess of the earth, but more correctly she is the deity protecting agriculture in general and corn in particular. The 
Poppy is sacred to Ceres and she is often shown carrying or ornamented by a garland of these flowers. In the Mysteries, 
Ceres represented riding in a chariot drawn by winged serpents. 

p- 31 


From Ovid's Metamorphosis. 

In the initiation, of the Bacchic Mysteries, the role of Bacchus is played by the candidate who, set upon by priests in the 
guise of the Titans, is slain and finally restored to life amidst great rejoicing. The Bacchic Mysteries were given every three 
years, and like the Eleusinian Mysteries, were divided into two degrees. The initiates were crowned with myrtle and ivy, 
plants which were sacred to Bacchus. 

In the Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins conclusively establishes Bacchus (Dionysos) as one of the early pagan forms of the 
Christos myth, "The birthplace of Bacchus, called Sabazius or Sabaoth, was claimed by several places in Greece; but on 

Mount Zelmisus, in Thrace, his worship seems to have been chiefly celebrated. He was born of a virgin on the 25th of 
December; he performed great miracles for the good of mankind; particularly one in which he changed water into wine; 
he rode in a triumphal procession on an ass; he was put to death by the Titans, and rose again from the dead on the 25th 
of March: he was always called the Saviour. In his mysteries, he was shown to the people, as an infant is by the Christians 
at this day, on Christmas Day morning in Rome." 

While Apollo most generally represents the sun, Bacchus is also a form of solar energy, for his resurrection was 
accomplished with the assistance of Apollo. The resurrection of Bacchus signifies merely the extraction or 
disentanglement of the various Parts of the Bacchic constitution from the Titanic constitution of the world. This is 
symbolized by the smoke or soot rising from the burned bodies of the Titans. The soul is symbolized by smoke because it 
is extracted by the fire of the Mysteries. Smoke signifies the ascension of the soul, far evolution is the process of the soul 
rising, like smoke, from the divinely consumed material mass. At me time the Bacchic Rites were of a high order, but later 
they became much degraded . The Bacchanalia, or orgies of Bacchus, are famous in literature. 

p- 32 

passed through two gates. The first led downward into the lower worlds and symbolized his birth into 
ignorance. The second led upward into a room brilliantly lighted by unseen lamps, in which was the 
statue of Ceres and which symbolized the upper world, or the abode of Light and Truth. Strabo states 
that the great temple of Eleusis would hold between twenty and thirty thousand people. The caves 
dedicated by Zarathustra also had these two doors, symbolizing the avenues of birth and death. 

The following paragraph from Porphyry gives a fairly adequate conception of Eleusinian symbolism: 
"God being a luminous principle, residing in the midst of the most subtile fire, he remains for ever 
invisible to the eyes of those who do not elevate themselves above material life: on this account, the 
sight of transparent bodies, such as crystal, Parian marble, and even ivory, recalls the idea of divine 
light; as the sight of gold excites an idea of its purity, for gold cannot he sullied. Some have thought by 
a black stone was signified the invisibility of the divine essence. To express supreme reason, the 
Divinity was represented under the human form—and beautiful, for God is the source of beauty; of 
different ages, and in various attitudes, sitting or upright; of one or the other sex, as a virgin or a 
young man, a husband or a bride, that all the shades and gradations might be marked. Every thing 
luminous was subsequently attributed to the gods; the sphere, and all that is spherical, to the universe, 
to the sun and the moon—sometimes to Fortune and to Hope. The circle, and all circular figures, to 
eternity— to the celestial movements; to the circles and zones of the heavens. The section of circles, to 
the phases of the moon; and pyramids and obelisks, to the igneous principle, and through that to the 
gods of Heaven. A cone expresses the sun, a cylinder the earth; the phallus and triangle (a symbol of 
the matrix) designate generation." (From Essay on the Mysteries of Eleusis by M. Ouvaroff.) 

The Eleusinian Mysteries, according to Heckethorn, survived all others and did not cease to exist as 
an institution until nearly four hundred years after Christ, when they were finally suppressed by 
Theodosius (styled the Great), who cruelly destroyed all who did not accept the Christian faith. Of this 
greatest of all philosophical institutions Cicero said that it taught men not only how to live but also 
how to die. 


Orpheus, the Thracian bard, the great initiator of the Greeks, ceased to be known as a man and was 
celebrated as a divinity several centuries before the Christian Era. "As to Orpheus himself * * *, " 
writes Thomas Taylor, "scarcely a vestige of his life is to be found amongst the immense ruins of time. 
For who has ever been able to affirm any thing with certainty of his origin, his age, his country, and 
condition? This alone may be depended on, from general assent, that there formerly lived a person 
named Orpheus, who was the founder of theology among the Greeks; the institutor of their lives and 
morals; the first of prophets, and the prince of poets; himself the offspring of a Muse; who taught the 
Greeks their sacred rites and mysteries, and from whose wisdom, as from a perennial and abundant 

fountain, the divine muse of Homer and the sublime theology of Pj^hagoras and Plato flowed." (See 
The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus.) 

Orpheus was founder of the Grecian mythological system which he used as the medium for the 
promulgation of his philosophical doctrines. The origin of his philosophy is uncertain. He may have 
got it from the Brahmins, there being legends to the effect that he got it was a Hindu, his name 
possibly being derived from opcpaviog, meaning "dark." Orpheus was initiated into the Egyptian 
Mysteries, from which he secured extensive knowledge of magic, astrology, sorcery, and medicine. 
The Mysteries of the Cabiri at Samothrace were also conferred upon him, and these undoubtedly 
contributed to his knowledge of medicine and music. 

The romance of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the tragic episodes of Greek mythology and 
apparently constitutes the outstanding feature 

p- 32 

of the Orphic Rite. Eurydice, in her attempt to escape from a villain seeking to seduce her, died from 
the venom of a poisonous serpent which stung her in the heel. Orpheus, penetrating to the very heart 
of the underworld, so charmed Pluto and Persephone with the beauty of his music that they agreed to 
permit Eurydice to return to life if Orpheus could lead her back to the sphere of the living without 
once looking round to see if she were following. So great was his fear, however, that she would stray 
from him that he turned his head, and Eurydice with a heartbroken cry was swept back into the land 
of death. 

Orpheus wandered the earth for a while disconsolate, and there are several conflicting accounts of the 

manner of his death. Some declare that he was slain by a bolt of lightning; others, that failing to save 
his beloved Eurydice, he committed suicide. The generally accepted version of his death, however, is 
that he was torn to pieces by Ciconian women whose advances he had spurned. In the tenth book of 
Plato's Republic it is declared that, because of his sad fate at the hands of women, the soul that had 
once been Orpheus, upon being destined to live again in the physical world, chose rather to return in 
the body of a swan than be born of woman. The head of Orpheus, after being torn from his body, was 
cast with his lyre into the river Hebrus, down which it floated to the sea, where, wedging in a cleft in a 
rock, it gave oracles for many years. The lyre, after being stolen from its shrine and working the 
destruction of the thief, was picked up by the gods and fashioned into a constellation. 

Orpheus has long been sung as the patron of music. On his seven-stringed lyre he played such perfect 
harmonies that the gods themselves were moved to acclaim his power. When he touched the strings 
of his instrument the birds and beasts gathered about him, and as he wandered through the forests 
his enchanting melodies caused even the ancient trees with mighty effort to draw their gnarled roots 
from out the earth and follow him. Orpheus is one of the many Immortals who have sacrificed 
themselves that mankind might have the wisdom of the gods. By the symbolism of his music he 
communicated the divine secrets to humanity, and several authors have declared that the gods, 
though loving him, feared that he would overthrow their kingdom and therefore reluctantly 
encompassed his destruction. 

As time passed on the historical Orpheus became hopelessly confounded with the doctrine he 
represented and eventually became the symbol of the Greek school of the ancient wisdom. Thus 
Orpheus was declared to be the son of Apollo, the divine and perfect truth, and Calliope, the Muse of 
harmony and rhythm. In other words, Orpheus is the secret doctrine (Apollo) revealed through music 
(Calliope). Eurydice is humanity dead from the sting of the serpent of false knowledge and 
imprisoned in the underworld of ignorance. In this allegory Orpheus signifies theology, which wins 
her from the king of the dead but fails to accomplish her resurrection because it falsely estimates and 
mistrusts the innate understanding within the human soul. The Ciconian women who tore Orpheus 

limb from limb symbolize the various contending theological factions which destroy the body of Truth. 
They cannot accomplish this, however, until their discordant cries drown out the harmony drawn by 
Orpheus from his magic lyre. The head of Orpheus signifies the esoteric doctrines of his cult. These 
doctrines continue to live and speak even after his body (the cult) has been destroyed. The lyre is the 
secret teaching of Orpheus; the seven strings are the seven divine truths which are the keys to 
universal knowledge. The differing accounts of his death represent the various means used to destroy 
the secret teachings: wisdom can die in many ways at the same time. The allegory of Orpheus 
incarnating in the white swan merely signifies that the spiritual truths he promulgated will continue 
and will be taught by the illumined initiates of all future ages. The swan is the symbol of the initiates 
of the Mysteries; it is a symbol also of the divine power which is the progenitor of the world. 


The Bacchic Rite centers around the allegory of the youthful Bacchus (Dionysos or Zagreus) being 
torn to pieces by the Titans. These giants accomplished the destruction of Bacchus by causing him to 
become fascinated by his own image in a mirror. After dismembering him, the Titans first boiled the 
pieces in water and afterwards roasted them. Pallas rescued the heart of the murdered god, and by 
this precaution Bacchus (Dionysos) was enabled to spring forth again in all his former glory. Jupiter, 
the Demiurgus, beholding the crime of the Titans, hurled his thunderbolts and slew them, burning 
their bodies to ashes with heavenly fire. Our of the ashes of the Titans—which also contained a 
portion of the flesh of Bacchus, whose body they had partly devoured—the human race was created. 
Thus the mundane life of every man was said to contain a portion of the Bacchic life. 

For this reason the Greek Mysteries warned against suicide. He who attempts to destroy himself 
raises his hand against the nature of Bacchus within him, since man's body is indirectly the tomb of 
this god and consequently must be preserved with the greatest care. 

Bacchus (Dionysos) represents the rational soul of the inferior world. He is the chief of the Titans— 
the artificers of the mundane spheres. The Pythagoreans called him the Titanic monad. Thus Bacchus 
is the all-inclusive idea of the Titanic sphere and the Titans— or gods of the fragments— the active 
agencies by means of which universal substance is fashioned into the pattern of this idea. The Bacchic 
state signifies the unity of the rational soul in a state of self-knowledge, and the Titanic state the 
diversity of the rational soul which, being scattered throughout creation, loses the consciousness of its 
own essential one-ness. The mirror into which Bacchus gazes and which is the cause of his fall is the 
great sea of illusion— the lower world fashioned by the Titans. Bacchus (the mundane rational soul), 
seeing his image before him, accepts the image as a likeness of himself and ensouls the likeness; that 
is, the rational idea ensouls its reflection— the irrational universe. By ensouling the irrational image it 
implants in it the urge to become like its source, the rational image. Therefore the ancients said that 
man does not know the gods by logic or by reason but rather by realizing the presence of the gods 
within himself. 

After Bacchus gazed into the mirror and followed his own reflection into matter, the rational soul of 
the world was broken up and distributed by the Titans throughout the mundane sphere of which it is 
the essential nature, but the heart, or source, of it they could not: scatter. The Titans took the 
dismembered body of Bacchus and boiled it in water— symbol of immersion in the material universe— 
which represents the incorporation of the Bacchic principle in form. The pieces were afterwards 
roasted to signify the subsequent ascension of the spiritual nature out of form. 

When Jupiter, the father of Bacchus and the Demiurgus of the universe, saw that the Titans were 
hopelessly involving the rational or divine idea by scattering its members through the constituent 
parts of the lower world, he slew the Titans in order that the divine idea might not be entirely lost. 
From the ashes of the Titans he formed mankind, whose purpose of existence was to preserve and 
eventually to release the Bacchic idea, or rational soul, from the Titanic fabrication. Jupiter, being the 

Demiurgus and fabricator of the material universe, is the third person of the Creative Triad, 

consequently the Lord of Death, for death exists only in the lower sphere of being over which he 
presides. Disintegration takes place so that reintegration may follow upon a higher level of form or 
intelligence. The thunderbolts of Jupiter are emblematic of his disintegrative power; they reveal the 
purpose of death, which is to rescue the rational soul from the devouring power of the irrational 

Man is a composite creature, his lower nature consisting of the fragments of the Titans and his higher 
nature the sacred, immortal flesh (life) of Bacchus. Therefore man is capable of either a Titanic 
(irrational) or a Bacchic (rational) existence. The Titans of Hesiod, who were twelve in number, are 
probably analogous to the celestial zodiac, whereas the Titans who murdered and dismembered 
Bacchus represent the zodiacal powers distorted by their involvement in the material world. Thus 
Bacchus represents the sun who is dismembered by the signs of the zodiac and from whose body the 
universe is formed. When the terrestrial forms were created from the various parts of his body the 
sense of wholeness was lost and the sense of separateness established. The heart of Bacchus, which 
was saved by Pallas, or Minerva, was lifted out of the four elements symbolized by his dismembered 
body and placed in the ether. The heart of Bacchus is the immortal center of the rational soul. 

After the rational soul had been distributed throughout creation and the nature of man, the Bacchic 
Mysteries were instituted for the purpose of disentangling it from the irrational Titanic nature. This 
disentanglement was the process of lifting the soul out of the state of separateness into that of unity. 
The various parts and members of Bacchus were collected from the different corners of the earth. 
When all the rational parts are gathered Bacchus is resurrected. 

The Rites of Dionysos were very similar to those of Bacchus, and by many these two gods are 
considered as one. Statues of Dionysos were carried in the Eleusinian Mysteries, especially the lesser 
degrees. Bacchus, representing the soul of the mundane sphere, was capable of an infinite multiplicity 
of form and designations. Dionysos apparently was his solar aspect. 

The Dionysiac Architects constituted an ancient secret society, in principles and doctrines much like 
the modern Freemasonic Order. They were an organization of builders bound together by their secret 
knowledge of the relationship between the earthly and the divine sciences of architectonics. They 
were supposedly employed by King Solomon in the building of his Temple, although they were not 
Jews, nor did they worship the God of the Jews, being followers of Bacchus and Dionysos. The 
Dionysiac Architects erected many of the great monuments of antiquity. They possessed a secret 
language and a system of marking their stones. They had annual convocations and sacred feasts. The 
exact nature of their doctrines is unknown. It is believed that CHiram Abiff was an initiate of this 

Atlantis and the Gods of Antiquity 

p. 33 

ATLANTIS is the subject of a short but important article appearing in the Annual Report of the Board 
of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution for the year ending June 30th, 1915. The author, M. Pierre 
Termier, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Director of Service of the Geologic Chart of 
France, in 1912 delivered a lecture on the Atlantean hypothesis before the Institut Oceanographique; 
it is the translated notes of this remarkable lecture that are published in the Smithsonian report. 

"After a long period of disdainful indifference," writes M. Termier, "observe how^ in the last few years 
science is returning to the study of Atlantis. How many naturalists, geologists, zoologists, or botanists 
are asking one another today whether Plato has not transmitted to us, with slight amplification, a 
page from the actual history of mankind. No affirmation is yet permissible; but it seems more and 
more evident that a vast region, continental or made up of great islands, has collapsed west of the 
Pillars of Hercules, otherwise called the Strait of Gibraltar, and that its collapse occurred in the not 
far distant past. In any event, the question of Atlantis is placed anew before men of science; and since 
I do not believe that it can ever be solved without the aid of oceanography, I have thought it natural to 
discuss it here, in this temple of maritime science, and to call to such a problem, long scorned but 
now being revived, the attention of oceanographers, as well as the attention of those who, though 
immersed in the tumult of cities, lend an ear to the distant murmur of the sea." 

In his lecture M. Termier presents geologic, geographic, and zoologic data in substantiation of the 
Atlantis theory. Figuratively draining the entire bed of the Atlantic Ocean, he considers the 
inequalities of its basin and cites locations on a line from the Azores to Iceland where dredging has 
brought lava to the surface from a depth of 3,000 meters. The volcanic nature of the islands now 
existing in the Atlantic Ocean corroborates Plato's statement that the Atlantean continent was 
destroyed by volcanic cataclysms. M. Termier also advances the conclusions of a young French 
zoologist, M. Louis Germain, who admitted the existence of an Atlantic continent connected with the 
Iberian Peninsula and with Mauritania and prolonged toward the south so as to include some regions 
of desert climate. M. Termier concludes his lecture with a graphic picture of the engulfment of that 

The description of the Atlantean civilization given by Plato in the Critias may be summarized as 
follows. In the first ages the gods divided the earth among themselves, proportioning it according to 
their respective dignities. Each became the peculiar deity of his ovm allotment and established 
therein temples to himself, ordained a priestcraft, and instituted a system of sacrifice. To Poseidon 
was given the sea and the island continent of Atlantis. In the midst of the island was a mountain 
which was the dwelling place of three earth-born primitive human beings—Evenor; his wife, Leucipe; 
and their only daughter, Cleito. The maiden was very beautiful, and after the sudden death of her 
parents she was wooed by Poseidon, who begat by her five pairs of male children. Poseidon 
apportioned his continent among these ten, and Atlas, the eldest, he made overlord of the other nine. 
Poseidon further called the country Atlantis and the surrounding sea the Atlantic in honor of Atlas. 
Before the birth of his ten sons, Poseidon divided the continent and the coastwise sea into concentric 
zones of land and water, which were as perfect as though turned upon a lathe. Two zones of land and 
three of water surrounded the central island, which Poseidon caused to be irrigated with two springs 
of water—one warm and the other cold. 

The descendants of Atlas continued as rulers of Atlantis, and with wise government and industry 
elevated the country to a position of surpassing dignity. The natural resources of Atlantis were 
apparently limitless. Precious metals were mined, wild animals domesticated, and perfumes distilled 
from its fragrant flowers. While enjoying the abundance natural to their semitropic location, the 

Atlanteans employed themselves also in the erection of palaces, temples, and docks. They bridged the 

zones of sea and later dug a deep canal to connect the outer ocean with the central island, where stood 
the palaces And temple of Poseidon, which excelled all other structures in magnificence. A network of 
bridges and canals was created by the Atlanteans to unite the various parts of their kingdom. 

Plato then describes the white, black, and red stones which they quarried from beneath their 
continent and used in the construction of public buildings and docks. They circumscribed each of the 
land zones with a wall, the outer wall being covered with brass, the middle with tin, and the inner, 
which encompassed the citadel, with orichalch. The citadel, on the central island, contained the pal 
aces, temples, and other public buildings. In its center, surrounded by a wall of gold, was a sanctuary 
dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon. Here the first ten princes of the island were born and here each year 
their descendants brought offerings. Poseidon's own temple, its exterior entirely covered with silver 
and its pinnacles with gold, also stood within the citadel. The interior of the temple was of ivory, gold, 
silver, and orichalch, even to the pillars and floor. The temple contained a colossal statue of Poseidon 
standing in a chariot drawn by six winged horses, about him a hundred Nereids riding on dolphins. 
Arranged outside the building were golden statues of the first ten kings and their wives. 

In the groves and gardens were hot and cold springs. There were numerous temples to various deities, 
places of exercise for men and for beasts, public baths, and a great race course for horses. At various 
vantage points on the zones were fortifications, and to the great harbor came vessels from every 
maritime nation. The zones were so thickly populated that the sound of human voices was ever in the 

That part of Atlantis facing the sea was described as lofty and precipitous, but about the central city 
was a plain sheltered by mountains renowned for their size, number, and beauty. The plain yielded 
two crops each year,, in the winter being watered by rains and in the summer by immense irrigation 
canals, which were also used for transportation. The plain was divided into sections, and in time of 
war each section supplied its quota of fighting men and chariots. 

The ten governments differed from each other in details concerning military requirements. Each of 
the kings of Atlantis had complete control over his own kingdom, but their mutual relationships were 
governed by a code engraved by the first ten kings on a column' of orichalch standing in the temple of 
Poseidon. At alternate intervals of five and six years a pilgrimage was made to this temple that equal 
honor might be conferred upon both the odd and the even numbers. Here, with appropriate sacrifice, 
each king renewed his 


From Cartari's Imagini degli Dei degli Antichi. 

By ascending successively through the fiery sphere of Hades, the spheres of water, Earth, and air, and the heavens of the 
moon, the plane of Mercury is reached. Above Mercury are the planes of Venus, the sun. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, the 
latter containing the symbols of the Zodiacal constellations. Above the arch of the heavens (Saturn) is the dwelling Place 
of the different powers controlling the universe. The supreme council of the gods is composed of twelve deities—six male 
and six female—which correspond to the positive and negative signs of the zodiac. The six gods are Jupiter, Vulcan, Apollo, 
Mars, Neptune, and Mercury; the six goddesses are Juno, Ceres, Vesta, Minerva, Venus, and Diana. Jupiter rides his eagle 
as the symbol of his sovereignty over the world, and Juno is seated upon a peacock, the proper symbol of her haughtiness 
and glory. 

P- 34 

oath of loyalty upon the sacred inscription. Here also the kings donned azure robes and sat in 
judgment. At daybreak they v^rote their sentences upon a golden tablet: and deposited them with 
their robes as memorials. The chief laws of the Atlantean kings were that they should not take up 
arms against each other and that they should come to the assistance of any of their number who was 
attacked. In matters of war and great moment the final decision was in the hands of the direct 
descendants of the family of Atlas. No king had the power of life and death over his kinsmen without 
the assent of a majority of the ten. 

Plato concludes his description by declaring that it was this great empire which attacked the Hellenic 

states. This did not occur, however, until their power and glory had lured the Atlantean kings from 
the pathway of wisdom and virtue. Filled with false ambition, the rulers of Atlantis determined to 
conquer the entire world. Zeus, perceiving the wickedness of the Atlanteans, gathered the gods into 
his holy habitation and addressed them. Here Plato's narrative comes to an abrupt end, for the Critias 
was never finished. In the Timgeus is a further description of Atlantis, supposedly given to Solon by an 
Egyptian priest and which concludes as follows: 

"But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of rain 
all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner 
disappeared, and was sunk beneath the sea. And that is the reason why the sea in those parts is 
impassable and impenetrable, because there is such a quantity of shallow mud in the way; and this 
was caused by the subsidence of the island." 

In the introduction to his translation of the Timgeus, Thomas Taylor quotes from a History of 
Ethiopia written by Marcellus, which contains the following reference to Atlantis: "For they relate 
that in their time there were seven islands in the Atlantic sea, sacred to Proserpine; and besides these, 
three others of an immense magnitude; one of which was sacred to Pluto, another to Ammon, and 
another, which is the middle of these, and is of a thousand stadia, to Neptune." Grantor, commenting 
upon Plato, asserted that the Egyptian priests declared the story of Atlantis to be written upon pillars 
which were still preserved circa 300 B.C. (See Beginnings or Glimpses of Vanished Civilizations.) 
Ignatius Donnelly, who gave the subject of Atlantis profound study, believed that horses were first 
domesticated by the Atlanteans, for which reason they have always been considered peculiarly sacred 
to Poseidon. {See Atlantis.) 

From a careful consideration of Plato's description of Atlantis it is evident that the story should not be 

regarded as wholly historical but rather as both allegorical and historical. Origen, Porphyry, Proclus, 
lamblichus, and Syrianus realized that the story concealed a profound philosophical mystery, but 
they disagreed as to the actual interpretation. Plato's Atlantis symbolizes the threefold nature of both 
the universe and the human body. The ten kings of Atlantis are the tetractys, or numbers, which are 
born as five pairs of opposites. (Consult Theon of Smyrna for the Pythagorean doctrine of opposites.) 
The numbers 1 to 10 rule every creature, and the numbers, in turn, are under the control of the 
Monad, or i~the Eldest among them. 

With the trident scepter of Poseidon these kings held sway over the inhabitants of the seven small and 
three great islands comprising Atlantis. Philosophically, the ten islands symbolize the triune powers 
of the Superior Deity and the seven regents who bow before His eternal throne. If Atlantis be 
considered as the archetypal sphere, then its immersion signifies the descent of rational, organized 
consciousness into the illusionary, impermanent realm of irrational, mortal ignorance. Both the 
sinking of Atlantis and the Biblical story of the "fall of man" signify spiritual involution—a 
prerequisite to conscious evolution. 

Either the initiated Plato used the Atlantis allegory to achieve two widely different ends or else the 
accounts preserved by the Egyptian priests were tampered with to perpetuate the secret doctrine. 
This does not mean to imply that Atlantis is purely mythological, but it overcomes the most serious 
obstacle to acceptance of the Atlantis theory, namely, the fantastic accounts of its origin, size, 
appearance, and date of destruction~96oo B.C. In the midst of the central island of Atlantis was a 
lofty mountain which cast a shadow five thousand stadia in extent and whose summit touched the 
sphere of aether. This is the axle mountain of the world, sacred among many races and symbolic of the 
human head, which rises out of the four elements of the body. This sacred mountain, upon whose 
summit stood the temple of the gods, gave rise to the stories of Olympus, Meru, and Asgard. The City 
of the Golden Gates—the capital of Atlantis— is the one now preserved among numerous religions as 

the City of the Gods or the Holy City. Here is the archetype of the New Jerusalem, with its streets 
paved with gold and its twelve gates shining with precious stones. 

"The history of Atlantis," writes Ignatius Donnelly, "is the key of the Greek mythology. There can be 
no question that these gods of Greece were human beings. The tendency to attach divine attributes to 
great earthly rulers is one deeply implanted in human nature." (See Atlantis.) 

The same author sustains his views by noting that the deities of the Greek pantheon were nor looked 
upon as creators of the universe but rather as regents set over it by its more ancient original 
fabricators. The Garden of Eden from which humanity was driven by a flaming sword is perhaps an 
allusion to the earthly paradise supposedly located west of the Pillars of Hercules and destroyed by 
volcanic cataclysms. The Deluge legend may be traced also to the Atlantean inundation, during which 
a "world" was destroyed by water.. 

Was the religious, philosophic, and scientific knowledge possessed by the priestcrafts of antiquity 
secured from Atlantis, whose submergence obliterated every vestige of its part in the drama of world 
progress? Atlantean sun worship has been perpetuated in the ritualism and ceremonialism of both 
Christianity and pagandom. Both the cross and the serpent were Atlantean emblems of divine 
wisdom. The divine (Atlantean) progenitors of the Mayas and Quiches of Central America coexisted 
within the green and azure radiance of Gucumatz, the "plumed" serpent. The six sky-born sages came 
into manifestation as centers of light bound together or synthesized by the seventh—and chief —of 
their order, the "feathered" snake. (See the Popol Vuh.) The title of "winged" or "plumed" snake was 
applied to Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulcan, the Central American initiate. The center of the Atlantean 
Wisdom-Religion was presumably a great pyramidal temple standing on the brow of a plateau rising 
in the midst of the City of the Golden Gates. From here the Initiate-Priests of the Sacred Feather went 
forth, carrying the keys of Universal Wisdom to the uttermost parts of the earth. 

The mythologies of many nations contain accounts of gods who "came out of the sea." Certain 
shamans among the American Indians tell of holy men dressed in birds' feathers and wampum who 
rose out of the blue waters and instructed them in the arts and crafts. Among the legends of the 
Chaldeans is that of Cannes, a partly amphibious creature who came out of the sea and taught the 
savage peoples along the shore to read and write, till the soil, cultivate herbs for healing, study the 
stars, establish rational forms of government, and become conversant with the sacred Mysteries. 
Among the Mayas, Quetzalcoatl, the Savior-God (whom some Christian scholars believe to have been 
St. Thomas), issued from the waters and, after instructing the people in the essentials of civilization, 
rode out to sea on a magic raft of serpents to escape the wrath of the fierce god of the Fiery Mirror, 

May it not have been that these demigods of a fabulous age who, Esdras-like, came out of the sea were 
Atlantean priests? All that primitive man remembered of the Atlanteans was the glory of their golden 
ornaments, the transcendency of their wisdom, and the sanctity of their symbols—the cross and the 
serpent. That they came in ships was soon forgotten, for untutored minds considered even boats as 
supernatural. Wherever the Atlanteans proselyted they erected pyramids and temples patterned after 
the great sanctuary in the City of the Golden Gates. Such is the origin of the pyramids of Egypt, 
Mexico, and Central America. The mounds in Normandy and Britain, as well as those of the American 
Indians, are remnants of a similar culture. In the midst of the Atlantean program of world 
colonization and conversion, the cataclysms which sank Atlantis began. The Initiate-Priests of the 
Sacred Feather who promised to come back to their missionary settlements never returned; and after 
the lapse of centuries tradition preserved only a fantastic account of gods who came from a place 
where the sea now is. 

H. P. Blavatsky thus sums up the causes which precipitated the Atlantean disaster: "Under the evil 
insinuations of their demon, Thevetat, the Atlantis-race became a nation of wicked magicians. In 

consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance 
maybe found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his 
righteous family. The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its 
imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood: The giants and magicians '* * * and all 
flesh died * * * and every man.' All except Xisuthrus and Noah, who are substantially identical with 
the great Father of the Thlinkithians in the Popol Vuh, or the sacred book of the Guatemaleans, which 
also tells of his escaping in a large boat, like the Hindu Noah—Vaiswasvata. " (See Isis Unveiled.) 

From the Atlanteans the world has received not only the heritage of arts and crafts, philosophies and 
sciences, ethics and religions, but also the heritage of hate, strife, and perversion. The Atlanteans 
instigated the first war; and it has been said that all subsequent wars were fought in a fruitless effort 
to justify the first one and right the wrong which it caused. Before Atlantis sank, its spiritually 
illumined Initiates, who realized that their land was doomed because it had departed from the Path of 
Light, withdrew from the ill-fated continent. Carrying with them the sacred and secret doctrine, these 

P- 35 

established themselves in Egypt, where they became its first "divine" rulers. Nearly all the great 
cosmologic myths forming the foundation of the various sacred books of the world are based upon the 
Atlantean Mystery rituals. 


The mjith of Tammuz and Ishtar is one of the earliest examples of the dying-god allegory, probably 
antedating 4000 B. C. (See Babylonia and Assyria by Lewis Spence.) The imperfect condition of the 
tablets upon which the legends are inscribed makes it impossible to secure more than a fragmentary 
account of the Tammuz rites. Being the esoteric god of the sun, Tammuz did not occupy a position 
among the first deities venerated by the Babylonians, who for lack of deeper knowledge looked upon 
him as a god of agriculture or a vegetation spirit. Originally he was described as being one of the 
guardians of the gates of the underworld. Like many other Savior-Gods, he is referred to as a 
"shepherd" or "the lord of the shepherd seat." Tammuz occupies the remarkable position of son and 
husband of Ishtar, the Babylonian and Assyrian Mother-goddess. Ishtar~to whom the planer Venus 
was sacred—was the most widely venerated deity of the Babylonian and Assyrian pantheon. She was 
probably identical with Ashterorh, Astarte, and Aphrodite. The story of her descent into the 
underworld in search presumably for the sacred elixir which alone could restore Tammuz to life is the 
key to the ritual of her Mysteries. Tammuz, whose annual festival took place just before the summer 
solstice, died in midsummer in the ancient month which bore his name, and was mourned with 
elaborate ceremonies. The manner of his death is unknown, but some of the accusations made against 
Ishtar by Izdubar (Nimrod) would indicate that she, indirectly at least, had contributed to his demise. 
The resurrection of Tammuz was the occasion of great rejoicing, at which time he was hailed as a 
"redeemer" of his people. 

With outspread wings, Ishtar, the daughter of Sin (the Moon), sweeps downward to the gates of death. 
The house of darkness—the dwelling of the god Irkalla— is described as "the place of no return." It is 
without light; the nourishment of those who dwell therein is dust and their food is mud. Over the 
bolts on the door of the house of Irkalla is scattered dust, and the keepers of the house are covered 
with feathers like birds. Ishtar demands that the keepers open the gates, declaring that if they do not 
she will shatter the doorposts and strike the hinges and raise up dead devourers of the living. The 
guardians of the gates beg her to be patient while they go to the queen of Hades from whom they 
secure permission to admit Ishtar, but only in the same manner as all others came to this dreary 
house. Ishtar thereupon descends through the seven gates which lead downward into the depths of 
the underworld. At the first gate the great crown is removed from her head, at the second gate the 

earrings from her ears, at the third gate the necklace from her neck, at the fourth gate the ornaments 
from her breast, at the fifth gate the girdle from her waist, at the sixth gate the bracelets from her 
hands and feet, and at the seventh gate the covering cloak of her body. Ishtar remonstrates as each 
successive article of apparel is taken from her, bur the guardian tells her that this is the experience of 
all who enter the somber domain of death. Enraged upon beholding Ishtar, the Mistress of Hades 
inflicts upon her all manner of disease and imprisons her in the underworld. 

As Ishtar represents the spirit of fertility, her loss prevents the ripening of the crops and the maturing 
of all life upon the earth. 

In this respect the story parallels the legend of Persephone. The gods, realizing that the loss of Ishtar 
is disorganizing all Nature, send a messenger to the underworld and demand her release. The 
Mistress of Hades is forced to comply, and the water of life is poured over Ishtar. Thus cured of the 
infirmities inflicted on her, she retraces her way upward through the seven gates, at each of which she 
is reinvested with the article of apparel which the guardians had removed. (See The Chaldean 
Account of Genesis.) No record exists that Ishtar secured the water of life which would have wrought 
the resurrection of Tammuz. 

The myth of Ishtar symbolizes the descent of the human spirit through the seven worlds, or spheres of 
the sacred planets, until finally, deprived of its spiritual adornments, it incarnates in the physical 
body~Hades~where the mistress of that body heaps every form of sorrow and misery upon the 
imprisoned consciousness. The waters of life—the secret doctrine—cure the diseases of ignorance; and 
the spirit, ascending again to its divine source, regains its God-given adornments as it passes upward 
through the rings of the planets. 

Another Mystery ritual among the Babylonians and Assyrians was that of Merodach and the Dragon. 

Merodach, the creator of the inferior universe, slays a horrible monster and out of her body forms the 
universe. Here is the probable source of the so-called Christian allegory of St. George and the Dragon. 

The Mysteries of Adonis, or Adoni, were celebrated annually in many parts of Egypt, Phcenicia, and 
Biblos. The name Adonis, or Adoni, means "Lord" and was a designation applied to the sun and later 
borrowed by the Jews as the exoteric name of their God. Smyrna, mother of Adonis, was turned into a 
tree by the gods and after a time the bark burst open and the infant Savior issued forth. According to 
one account, he was liberated by a wild boar which split the wood of the maternal tree with its tusks. 
Adonis was born at midnight of the 24th of December, and through his unhappy death a Mystery rite 
was established that wrought the salvation of his people. In the Jewish month of Tammuz (another 
name for this deity) he was gored to death by a wild boar sent by the god Ars (Mars). The Adoniasmos 
was the ceremony of lamenting the premature death of the murdered god. 

In Ezekiel viii. 14, it is written that women were weeping for Tammuz (Adonis) at the north gate of the 
Lord's House in Jerusalem. Sir James George Frazer cites Jerome thus: "He tells us that Bethlehem, 
the traditionary birthplace of the Lord, was shaded by a grove of that still older Syrian Lord, Adonis, 
and that where the infant Jesus had wept, the lover of Venus was bewailed." (See The Golden Bough.) 
The effigy of a wild boar is said to have been set over one of the gates of Jerusalem in honor of Adonis, 
and his rites celebrated in the grotto of the Nativity at Bethlehem. Adonis as the "gored" (or "god") 
man is one of the keys to Sir Francis Bacon's use of the "wild boar" in his cryptic symbolism. 

Adonis was originally an androgynous deity who represented the solar power which in the winter was 
destroyed by the evil principle of cold— the boar. After three days (months) in the tomb, Adonis rose 
triumphant on the 25th day of March, amidst the acclamation of his priests and followers, "He is 
risen!" Adonis was born out of a myrrh tree. Myrrh, the symbol of death because of its connection 
with the process of embalming, was one of the gifts brought by the three Magi to the manger of Jesus. 

In the Mysteries of Adonis the neophyte passed through the symboUc death of the god and, "raised" 
by the priests, entered into the blessed state of redemption made possible by the sufferings of Adonis. 
Nearly all authors believe Adonis to have been originally a vegetation god directly connected with the 
growth and maturing of flowers 

From Kircher's CEdipusMgyptiacus. 

The great Pan was celebrated as the author and director of the sacred dances which he is supposed to have instituted to 
symboUze the circumambulations of the heavenly bodies. Pan was a composite creature, the upper part —with the 
exception of his horns—being human, and the lower part in the form of a goat. Pan is the prototype of natural energy and, 
while undoubtedly a phallic deity, should nor be confused with Priapus. The pipes of Pan signify the natural harmony of 
the spheres, and the god himself is a symbol of Saturn because this planet is enthroned in Capricorn, whose emblem is a 
goat. The Eg)T)tians were initiated into the Mysteries of Pan, who was regarded as a phase of Jupiter, the Demiurgus. Pan 
represented the impregnating power of the sun and was the chief of a horde rustic deities, and satyrs. He also signified the 
controlling spirit of the lower worlds. The fabricated a story to the effect that at the time of the birth of Christ the oracles 
were silenced after giving utterance to one last cry, "Great Pan is dead!" 

p- 36 

and fruits. In support of this viewpoint they describe the "gardens of Adonis, " which were small 
baskets of earth in which seeds were planted and nurtured for a period of eight days. When those 
plants prematurely died for lack of sufficient earth, they were considered emblematic of the murdered 
Adonis and were usually cast into the sea with images of the god. 

In Phrygia there existed a remarkable school of religious philosophy which centered around the life 
and untimely fate of another Savior-God known as Atys, or Attis, by many considered synonymous 

with Adonis. This deity was born at midnight on the 24th day of December. Of his death there are two 

accounts. In one he was gored to death like Adonis; in the other he emasculated himself under a pine 
tree and there died. His body was taken to a cave by the Great Mother (Cybele), where it remained 
through the ages without decaying. To the rites of Atys the modern world is indebted for the 
symbolism of the Christmas tree. Atys imparted his immortality to the tree beneath which he died, 
and Cybele took the tree with her when she removed the body. Atys remained three days in the tomb, 
rose upon a date corresponding with Easter morn, and by this resurrection overcame death for all 
who were initiated into his Mysteries. 

"In the Mysteries of the Phrygians, "says Julius Firmicus, "which are called those of the MOTHER OF 
THE GODS, every year a PINE TREE is cut down and in the inside of the tree the image of a YOUTH 
is tied in! In the Mysteries of Isis the trunk of a PINE TREE is cut: the middle of the trunk is nicely 
hollowed out; the idol of Osiris made from those hollowed pieces is BURIED. In the Mysteries of 
Proserpine a tree cut is put together into the effigy and form of the VIRGIN, and when it has been 
carried within the city it is MOURNED 40 nights, but the fortieth night it is BURNED!" (See Sod, the 
Mysteries ofAdoni.) 

The Mysteries of Atys included a sacramental meal during which the neophyte ate out of a drum and 
drank from a cymbal. After being baptized by the blood of a bull, the new initiate was fed entirely on 
milk to symbolize that he was still a philosophical infant, having but recently been born out of the 
sphere of materiality. (See Frazer's The Golden Bough.) Is there a possible connection between this 
lacteal diet prescribed by the Attic rite and St. Paul's allusion to the food for spiritual babes? Sallust 
gives a key to the esoteric interpretation of the Attic rituals. Cybele, the Great Mother, signifies the 
vivifying powers of the universe, and Atys that aspect of the spiritual intellect which is suspended 
between the divine and animal spheres. The Mother of the gods, loving Atys, gave him a starry hat, 
signifying celestial powers, but Atys (mankind), falling in love with a nymph (symbolic of the lower 
animal propensities), forfeited his divinity and lost his creative powers. It is thus evident that Atys 
represents the human consciousness and that his Mysteries are concerned with the reattainment of 
the starry hat. (See Sallust on the Gods and the World.) 

The rites of Sabazius were very similar to those of Bacchus and it is generally believed that the two 
deities are identical. Bacchus was born at Sabazius, or Sabaoth, and these names are frequently 
assigned to him. The Sabazian Mysteries were performed at night, and the ritual included the drawing 
of a live snake across the breast of the candidate. Clement of Alexandria writes: "The token of the 
Sabazian Mysteries to the initiated is 'the deity gliding over the breast.'" A golden serpent was the 
symbol of Sabazius because this deity represented the annual renovation of the world by the solar 
power. The Jews borrowed the name Sabaoth from these Mysteries and adopted it as one of the 
appellations of their supreme God. During the time the Sabazian Mysteries were celebrated in Rome, 
the cult gained many votaries and later influenced the symbolism of Christianity. 

The Cabiric Mysteries of Samothrace were renowned among the ancients, being next to the 
Eleusinian in public esteem. Herodotus declares that the Samothracians received their doctrines, 
especially those concerning Mercury, from the Pelasgians. Little is known concerning the Cabiric 
rituals, for they were enshrouded in the profoundest secrecy. Some regard the Cabiri as seven in 
number and refer to them as "the Seven Spirits of fire before the throne of Saturn." Others believe the 
Cabiri to be the seven sacred wanderers, later called the planets. 

While a vast number of deities are associated with the Samothracian Mysteries, the ritualistic drama 
centers around four brothers. The first three—Aschieros, Achiochersus, and Achiochersa—attack and 
murder the fourth—Cashmala (or Cadmillus). Dionysidorus, however, identifies Aschieros with 
Demeter, Achiochersus with Pluto, Achiochersa with Persephone, and Cashmala with Hermes. 
Alexander Wilder notes that in the Samothracian ritual "Cadmillus is made to include the Theban 
Serpent-god, Cadmus, the Thoth of Egypt, the Hermes of the Greeks, and the Emeph or ^sculapius 

of the Alexandrians and Phoenicians. " Here again is a repetition of the story of Osiris, Bacchus, 
Adonis, Balder, and Hiram Abiff. The worship of Atys and Cybele was also involved in the 
Samothracian Mysteries. In the rituals of the Cabiri is to be traced a form of pine-tree worship, for 
this tree, sacred to Atys, was first trimmed into the form of a cross and then cut down in honor of the 
murdered god whose body was discovered at its foot. 

"If you wish to inspect the orgies of the Corybantes, " writes Clement, "Then know that, having killed 
their third brother, they covered the head of the dead body with a purple cloth, crowned it, and 
carrying it on the point of a spear, buried it under the roots of Olympus. These mysteries are, in short, 
murders and funerals. [This ante-Nicene Father in his efforts to defame the pagan rites apparently 
ignores the fact that, like the Cabirian martyr, Jesus Christ was foully betrayed, tortured, and finally 
murdered!] And the priests Of these rites, who are called kings of the sacred rites by those whose 
business it is to name them, give additional strangeness to the tragic occurrence, by forbidding 
parsley with the roots from being placed on the table, for they think that parsley grew from the 
Corybantic blood that flowed forth; just as the women, in celebrating the Thcsmophoria, abstain from 
eating the seeds of the pomegranate, which have fallen on the ground, from the idea that 
pomegranates sprang from the drops of the blood of Dionysus. Those Corybantes also they call 
Cabiric; and the ceremony itself they announce as the Cabiric mystery." 

The Mysteries of the Cabiri were divided into three degrees, the first of which celebrated the death of 
Cashmala, at the hands of his three brothers; the second, the discovery of his mutilated body, the 
parts of which had been found and gathered after much labor; and the third—accompanied by great 
rejoicing and happiness— his resurrection and the consequent salvation of the world. The temple of 
the Cabiri at Samothrace contained a number of curious divinities, many of them misshapen 
creatures representing the elemental powers of Nature, possibly the Bacchic Titans. Children were 
initiated into the Cabirian cult with the same dignity as adults, and criminals who reached the 
sanctuary were safe from pursuit. The Samothracian rites were particularly concerned with 
navigation, the Dioscuri— Castor and Pollux, or the gods of navigation— being among those propitiated 
by members of that cult. The Argonautic expedition, listening to the advice of Orpheus, stopped at the 
island of Samothrace for the purpose of having its members initiated into the Cabiric rites. 

Herodotus relates that when Cambyses entered the temple of the Cabiri he was unable to restrain his 
mirth at seeing before him the figure of a man standing upright and, facing the man, the figure of a 
woman standing on her head. Had Cambyses been acquainted with the principles of divine 
astronomy, he would have realized that he was then in the presence of the key to universal 
equilibrium. "T ask,' says Voltaire, 'who were these Hierophants, these sacred Freemasons, who 
celebrated their Ancient Mysteries of Samothracia, and whence came they and their gods Cabiri?'" 
(See Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry.) Clement speaks of the Mysteries of the Cabiri as "the 
sacred Mystery of a brother slain by his brethren," and the "Cabiric death" was one of the secret 
symbols of antiquity. Thus the allegory of the Self murdered by the not-self is perpetuated through 
the religious mysticism of all peoples. The philosophic death and the philosophic resurrection are the 
Lesser and the Greater Mysteries respectively. 

A curious aspect of the dying-god myth is that of the Hanged Man. The most important example of 
this peculiar conception is found in the Odinic rituals where Odin hangs himself for nine nights from 
the branches of the World Tree and upon the same occasion also pierces his own side with the sacred 
spear. As the result of this great sacrifice, Odin, while suspended over the depths of Nifl-heim, 
discovered by meditation the runes or alphabets by which later the records of his people were 
preserved. Because of this remarkable experience, Odin is sometimes shown seated on a gallows tree 
and he became the patron deity of all who died by the noose. Esoterically, the Hanged Man is the 
human spirit which is suspended from heaven by a single thread. Wisdom, not death, is the reward 
for this voluntary sacrifice during which the human soul, suspended above the world of illusion, and 
meditating upon its unreality, is rewarded by the achievement of self-realization. 

From a consideration of all these ancient and secret rituals it becomes evident that the mystery of the 
dying god was universal among the illumined and venerated colleges of the sacred teaching. This 
mystery has been perpetuated in Christianity in the crucifixion and death of the God-man-Jesus the 
Christ. The secret import of this world tragedy and the Universal Martyr must be rediscovered if 
Christianity is to reach the heights attained by the pagans in the days of their philosophic supremacy. 
The myth of the dying god is the key to both universal and individual redemption and regeneration, 
and those who do not comprehend the true nature of this supreme allegory are not privileged to 
consider themselves either wise or truly religious. 

P- 37 

The Life and Teachings of Thoth Hermes 


THUNDER rolled, lightning flashed, the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. The 
venerable initiator, in his robes of blue and gold, slowly raised his jeweled wand and pointed with it 
into the darkness revealed by the tearing of the silken curtain: "Behold the Light of Egypt! " The 
candidate, in his plain white robe, gazed into the utter blackness framed by the two great Lotus- 
headed columns between which the veil had hung. As he watched, a luminous haze distributed itself 
throughout the atmosphere until the air was a mass of shining particles. The face of the neophyte 
was illumined by the soft glow as he scanned the shimmering cloud for some tangible object. The 
initiator spoke again: "This Light which ye behold is the secret luminance of the Mysteries. Whence 
it comes none knoweth, save the 'Master of the Light. ' Behold Him!" Suddenly, through the gleaming 
mist a figure appeared, surrounded by a flickering greenish sheen. The initiator lowered his wand 
and, bowing his head, placed one hand edgewise against his breast in humble salutation. The 
neophyte stepped back in awe, partly blinded by the glory of the revealed figure. Gaining courage, 
the youth gazed again at the Divine One. The Form before him was considerably larger than that of 
a mortal man. The body seemed partly transparent so that the heart and brain could be seen 
pulsating and radiant. As the candidate watched, the heart changed into an ibis, and the brain into 
a fiashing emerald. In Its hand this mysterious Being bore a winged rod, entwined with serpents. 
The aged initiator, raising his wand, cried out in a loud voice: "All hail Thee, Thoth Hermes, Thrice 
Greatest; all hail Thee, Prince of Men; all hail Thee who standeth upon the head ofTyphon!"At the 
same instant a lurid writhing dragon appeared— a hideous monster, part serpent, part crocodile, 
and part hog. From its mouth and nostrils poured sheets offiame and horrible sounds echoed 
through the vaulted chambers. Suddenly Hermes struck the advancing reptile with the serpent- 
wound staff and with snarling cry the dragon fell over upon its side, while the fiames about it 
slowly died away. Hermes placed His foot upon the skull of the vanquished Typhon. The next 
instant, with a blaze of unbearable glory that sent the neophyte staggering backward against a 
pillar, the immortal Hermes, followed by streamers of greenish mist, passed through the chamber 
and faded into nothingness. 


lamblichus averred that Hermes was the author of twenty thousand books; Manetho increased the 
number to more than thirty-six thousand (see James Gardner) —figures which make it evident that a 
soHtary individual, even though he be overshadowed by divine prerogative, could scarcely have 
accomplished such a monumental labor. Among the arts and sciences which it is affirmed Hermes 
revealed to mankind were medicine, chemistry, law, arc, astrology, music, rhetoric. Magic, philosophy, 
geography, mathematics (especially geometry), anatomy, and oratory. Orpheus was similarly 
acclaimed by the Greeks. 

In his Biographia Antiqua, Francis Barrett says of Hermes: "* * * if God ever appeared in man, he 
appeared in him, as is evident both from his books and his Pymander; in which works he has 

communicated the sum of the Abyss, and the divine knowledge to all posterity; by which he has 
demonstrated himself to have been not only an inspired divine, but also a deep philosopher, 
obtaining his wisdom from God and heavenly things, and not from man." 

His transcendent learning caused Hermes to be identified with many of the early sages and prophets. 
In his Ancient Mythology, Bryant writes: "I have mentioned that Cadmus was the same as the 
Egyptian Thoth; and it is manifest from his being Hermes, and from the invention of letters being 

attributed to him. " (In the chapter on the theory of Pythagorean Mathematics will be found the table 
of the original Cadmean letters.) Investigators believe that it was Hermes who was known to the Jews 
as "Enoch," called by Kenealy the "Second Messenger of God." Hermes was accepted into the 
mythology of the Greeks, later becoming the Mercury of the Latins. He was revered through the form 
of the planet Mercury because this body is nearest to the sun: Hermes of all creatures was nearest to 
God, and became known as the Messenger of the Gods. 

In the Egyptian drawings of him, Thoth carries a waxen writing tablet and serves as the recorder 
during the weighing of the souls of the dead in the judgment Hall of Osiris~a ritual of great 
significance. Hermes is of first importance to Masonic scholars, because he was the author of the 
Masonic initiatory rituals, which were borrowed from the Mysteries established by Hermes. Nearly all 
of the Masonic symbols are Hermetic in character. Pythagoras studied mathematics with the 
Egyptians and from them gained his knowledge of the symbolic geometric solids. Hermes is also 
revered for his reformation of the calendar system. He increased the year from 360 to 365 days, thus 
establishing a precedent which still prevails. The appellation "Thrice Greatest" was given to Hermes 
because he was considered the greatest of all philosophers, the greatest of all priests, and the greatest 
of all kings. It is worthy of note that the last poem of America's beloved poet, Henry Wadsworth 
Longfellow, was a lyric ode to Hermes. (See Chambers' Encyclopaedia.) 


On the subject of the Hermetic books, James Campbell Brown, in his History of Chemistry, has 
written: "Leaving the Chaldean and earliest Egyptian periods, of which we have remains but no 
record, and from which no names of either chemists or philosophers have come down to us, we now 
approach the Historic Period, when books were written, not at first upon parchment or paper, but 
upon papyrus. A series of early Egyptian books is attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who may have 
been a real savant, or may be a personification of a long succession of writers. * * * He is identified by 
some with the Greek god Hermes, and the Egyptian Thoth or Tuti, who was the moon-god, and is 
represented in ancient paintings as ibis-headed with the disc and crescent of the moon. The Egyptians 
regarded him as the god of wisdom, letters, and the recording of time. It is in consequence of the 
great respect entertained for Hermes by the old alchemists that chemical writings were called 
'hermetic,' and that the phrase 'hermetically sealed' is still in use to designate the closing of a glass 
vessel by fusion, after the manner of chemical manipulators. We find the same root in the hermetic 
medicines of Paracelsus, and the hermetic freemasonry of the Middle Ages." 

Among the fragmentary writings believed to have come from the stylus of Hermes are two famous 
works. The first is the Emerald Table, and the second is the Divine Pymander, or, as it is more 
commonly called. The Shepherd of Men, a discussion of which follows. One outstanding point in 
connection with Hermes is that he was one of the few philosopher-priests of pagandom upon whom 
the early Christians did not vent their spleen. Some Church Fathers went so far as to declare that 
Hermes exhibited many symptoms of intelligence, and that if he had only been born in a more 
enlightened age so that he might have benefited by their instructions he would have been a really 
great man! 

In his Stromata, Clement of Alexandria, one of the few chroniclers of pagan lore whose writings have 
been preserved to this age, gives practically all the information that is known concerning the original 
forty-two books of Hermes and the importance with which these books were regarded by both the 
temporal and spiritual powers of Egypt. Clement describes one of their ceremonial processions as 

"For the Egyptians pursue a philosophy of their own. This is 


From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum. 

Master of all arts and sciences, perfect in all crafts, Ruler of the Three Worlds, Scribe of the Gods, and Keeper of the Books 
of Life, Thoth Hermes Trismegistus~the Three Times Greatest, the "First Intelligencer"~was regarded by the ancient 
Egyptians as the embodiment of the Universal Mind. While in all probability there actually existed a great sage and 
educator by the name of Hermes, it is impossible to extricate the historical man from the mass of legendary accounts 
which attempt to identify him with the Cosmic Principle of Thought. 

p. 38 

principally shown by their sacred ceremonial. For first advances the Singer, bearing some one of the 
symbols of music. For they say that he must learn two of the books of Hermes, the one of which 
contains the hymns of the gods, the second the regulations for the king's life. And after the Singer 
advances the Astrologer, with a horologe in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He must 
have the astrological books of Hermes, which are four in number, always in his mouth. Of these, one 
is about the order of the fixed stars that are visible, and another about the conjunctions and luminous 
appearances of the sun and moon; and the rest respecting their risings. Next in order advances the 
sacred Scribe, with wings on his head, and in his hand a book and rule, in which were writing ink and 
the reed, with which they write. And he must be acquainted with what are called hieroglyphics, and 
know about cosmography and geography, the position of the sun and moon, and about the five 
planets; also the description of Egypt, and the chart of the Nile; and the description of the equipment 
of the priests and of the place consecrated to them, and about the measures and the things in use in 
the sacred rites. Then the Stole-keeper follows those previously mentioned, with the cubit of justice 
and the cup for libations. He is acquainted with all points called Pgedeutic (relating to training) and 
Moschophaltic (sacrificial). There are also ten books which relate to the honour paid by them to their 
gods, and containing the Egyptian worship; as that relating to sacrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, 
processions, festivals, and the like. And behind all walks the Prophet, with the water-vase carried 
openly in his arms; who is followed by those who carry the issue of loaves. He, as being the governor 
of the temple, learns the ten books called 'Hieratic'; and they contain all about the laws, and the gods, 
and the whole of the training of the priests. For the Prophet is, among the Egyptians, also over the 
distribution of the revenues. There are then forty-two books of Hermes indispensably necessary; of 

which the six-and-thirty containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians are learned by the 

forementioned personages; and the other six, which are medical, by the Pastophoroi (image- 
bearers), —treating of the structure of the body, and of disease, and instruments, and medicines, and 
about the eyes, and the last about women. 

One of the greatest tragedies of the philosophic world was the loss of nearly all of the forty-two books 
of Hermes mentioned in the foregoing. These books disappeared during the burning of Alexandria, 
for the Romans—and later the Christians— realized that until these books were eliminated they could 
never bring the Egyptians into subjection. The volumes which escaped the fire were buried in the 
desert and their location is now known to only a few initiates of the secret schools. 


While Hermes still walked the earth with men, he entrusted to his chosen successors the sacred Book 
ofThoth. This work contained the secret processes by which the regeneration of humanity was to be 
accomplished and also served as the key to his other writings. Nothing definite is known concerning 
the contents of the Book ofThoth other than that its pages were covered with strange hieroglyphic 
figures and symbols, which gave to those acquainted with their use unlimited power over the spirits of 
the air and the subterranean divinities. When certain areas of the brain are stimulated by the secret 
processes of the Mysteries, the consciousness of man is extended and he is permitted to behold the 
Immortals and enter into the presence of the superior gods. The Book ofThoth described the method 
whereby this stimulation was accomplished. In truth, therefore, it was the "Key to Immortality." 

According to legend, the Book ofThoth was kept in a golden box in the inner sanctuary of the temple. 
There was but one key and this was in the possession of the "Master of the Mysteries," the highest 
initiate of the Hermetic Arcanum. He alone knew what was written in the secret book. The Book of 
Thoth was lost to the ancient world with the decay of the Mysteries, but its faithful initiates carried it 
sealed in the sacred casket into another land. The book is still in existence and continues to lead the 
disciples of this age into the presence of the Immortals. No other information can be given to the 
world concerning it now, but the apostolic succession from the first hierophant initiated by Hermes 
himself remains unbroken to this day, and those who are peculiarly fitted to serve the Immortals may 
discover this priceless document if they will search sincerely and tirelessly for it. 

It has been asserted that the Book ofThoth is, in reality, the mysterious Tarot of the Bohemians— a 
strange emblematic book of seventy-eight leaves which has been in possession of the gypsies since the 
time when they were driven from their ancient temple, the Serapeum. (According to the Secret 
Histories the gypsies were originally Egyptian priests.) There are now in the world several secret 
schools privileged to initiate candidates into the Mysteries, but in nearly every instance they lighted 
their altar fires from the flaming torch of Herm. Hermes in his Book ofThoth revealed to all mankind 
the "One Way," and for ages the wise of every nation and every faith have reached immortality by the 
"Way" established by Hermes in the midst of the darkness for the redemption of humankind. 


The Divine Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus is one of the earliest of the Hermetic 
writings now extant. While probably not in its original form, having been remodeled during the first 
centuries of the Christian Era and incorrectly translated since, this work undoubtedly contains many 
of the original concepts of the Hermetic cultus. The Divine Pymander consists of seventeen 
fragmentary writings gathered together and put forth as one work. The second book of The Divine 
Pymander, called Poimandres, or The Vision, is believed to describe the method by which the divine 
wisdom was first revealed to Hermes. It was after Hermes had received this revelation that he began 

his ministry, teaching to all who would listen the secrets of the invisible universe as they had been 
unfolded to him. 

The Vision is the most: famous of all the Hermetic fragments, and contains an exposition of Hermetic 
cosmogony and the secret sciences of the Egyptians regarding the culture and unfoldment of the 
human soul. For some time it was erroneously called "The Genesis of Enoch," but that mistake has 
now been rectified. At hand while preparing the following interpretation of the symbolic philosophy 
concealed within The Vision of Hermes the present author has had these reference works: The Divine 
Pymander of Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus (London, 1650), translated out of the Arabic and 
Greek by Dr. Everard; Hermetica (Oxford, 1924), edited by Walter Scott; Hermes, The Mysteries of 
Egypt (Philadelphia, 1925), by Edouard Schure; and the Thrice-Greatest Hermes (London, 1906), by 
G. R. S. Mead. To the material contained in the above volumes he has added commentaries based 
upon the esoteric philosophy of the ancient Egyptians, together with amplifications derived partly 
from other Hermetic fragments and partly from the secret arcanum of the Hermetic sciences. For the 
sake of clarity, the narrative form has been chosen in preference to the original dialogic style, and 
obsolete words have given place to those in current use. 

Hermes, while wandering in a rocky and desolate place, gave himself over to meditation and prayer. 
Following the secret instructions of the Temple, he gradually freed his higher consciousness from the 
bondage of his bodily senses; and, thus released, his divine nature revealed to him the mysteries of 
the transcendental spheres. He beheld a figure, terrible and awe-inspiring. It was the Great Dragon, 
with wings stretching across the sky and light streaming in all directions from its body. (The 
Mysteries taught that the Universal Life was personified as a dragon.) The Great Dragon called 
Hermes by name, and asked him why he thus meditated upon the World Mystery. Terrified by the 
spectacle, Hermes prostrated himself before the Dragon, beseeching it to reveal its identity. The great 
creature answered that it was Poimandres, the Mind of the Universe, the Creative Intelligence, and 
the Absolute Emperor of all. (Schure identifies Poimandres as the god Osiris.) Hermes then besought 
Poimandres to disclose the nature of the universe and the constitution of the gods. The Dragon 
acquiesced, bidding Trismegistus hold its image in his mind. 

Immediately the form of Poimandres changed. Where it had stood there was a glorious and pulsating 
Radiance. This Light was the spiritual nature of the Great Dragon itself. Hermes was "raised" into the 
midst of this Divine Effulgence and the universe of material things faded from his consciousness. 
Presently a great darkness descended and, expanding, swallowed up the Light. Everything was 
troubled. About Hermes swirled a mysterious watery substance which gave forth a smokelike vapor. 
The air was filled with inarticulate moanings and sighings which seemed to come from the Light 
swallowed up in the darkness. His mind told Hermes that 


From Wilkinson's Manners & Customs of the Ancient Egyptians. 

It is doubtful that the deity called Thoth by the Egyptians was originally Hermes, but the two personalities were blended 
together and it is now impossible to separate them. Thoth was called "The Lord of the Divine Books" and "Scribe of the 
Company of the Gods." He is generally depicted with the body of a man and the head of an ibis. The exact symbolic 
meaning of this latter bird has never been discovered. A careful analysis of the peculiar shape of the ibis—especially its 
head and beak—should prove illuminating. 

p- 39 

the Light was the form of the spiritual universe and that the swirhng darkness which had engulfed it 
represented material substance. 

Then out of the imprisoned Light a mysterious and Holy Word came forth and took its stand upon the 
smoking waters. This Word— the Voice of the Light— rose out of the darkness as a great pillar, and the 
fire and the air followed after it, but the earth and the water remained unmoved below. Thus the 
waters of Light were divided from the waters of darkness, and from the waters of Light were formed 
the worlds above and from the waters of darkness were formed the worlds below. The earth and the 
water next mingled, becoming inseparable, and the Spiritual Word which is called Reason moved 
upon their surface, causing endless turmoil. 

Then again was heard the voice of Poimandres, but His form was not revealed: "I Thy God am the 
Light and the Mind which were before substance was divided from spirit and darkness from Light. 
And the Word which appeared as a pillar of flame out of the darkness is the Son of God, born of the 
mystery of the Mind. The name of that Word is Reason. Reason is the offspring of Thought and 
Reason shall divide the Light from the darkness and establish Truth in the midst of the waters. 
Understand, O Hermes, and meditate deeply upon the mystery. That which in you sees and hears is 
not of the earth, but is the Word of God incarnate. So it is said that Divine Light dwells in the midst of 
mortal darkness, and ignorance cannot divide them. The union of the Word and the Mind produces 
that mystery which is called Life. As the darkness without you is divided against itself, so the darkness 
within you is likewise divided. The Light and the fire which rise are the divine man, ascending in the 
path of the Word, and that which fails to ascend is the mortal man, which may not partake of 
immortality. Learn deeply of the Mind and its mystery, for therein lies the secret of immortality." 

The Dragon again revealed its form to Hermes, and for a long time the two looked steadfastly one 
upon the other, eye to eye, so that Hermes trembled before the gaze of Poimandres. At the Word of 

the Dragon the heavens opened and the innumerable Light Powers were revealed, soaring through 
Cosmos on pinions of streaming fire. Hermes beheld the spirits of the stars, the celestials controlling 
the universe, and all those Powers which shine with the radiance of the One Fire—the glory of the 
Sovereign Mind. Hermes realized that the sight which he beheld was revealed to him only because 
Poimandres had spoken a Word. The Word was Reason, and by the Reason of the Word invisible 
things were made manifest. Divine Mind—the Dragon— continued its discourse: 

"Before the visible universe was formed its mold was cast. This mold was called the Archetype, and 
this Archetype was in the Supreme Mind long before the process of creation began. Beholding the 
Archetypes, the Supreme Mind became enamored with Its own thought; so, taking the Word as a 
mighty hammer, It gouged out caverns in primordial space and cast the form of the spheres in the 
Archetypal mold, at the same time sowing in the newly fashioned bodies the seeds of living things. 
The darkness below, receiving the hammer of the Word, was fashioned into an orderly universe. The 
elements separated into strata and each brought forth living creatures. The Supreme Being— the 
Mind— male and female, brought forth the Word; and the Word, suspended between Light and 
darkness, was delivered of another Mind called the Workman, the Master-Builder, or the Maker of 

"In this manner it was accomplished, O Hermes: The Word moving like a breath through space called 
forth the Fire by the friction of its motion. Therefore, the Fire is called the Son of Striving. The 
Workman passed as a whirlwind through the universe, causing the substances to vibrate and glow 
with its friction, The Son of Striving thus formed Seven Governors, the Spirits of the Planets, whose 
orbits bounded the world; and the Seven Governors controlled the world by the mysterious power 
called Destiny given them by the Fiery Workman. When the Second Mind (The Workman) had 
organized Chaos, the Word of God rose straightway our of its prison of substance, leaving the 
elements without Reason, and joined Itself to the nature of the Fiery Workman. Then the Second 
Mind, together with the risen Word, established Itself in the midst of the universe and whirled the 
wheels of the Celestial Powers. This shall continue from an infinite beginning to an infinite end, for 
the beginning and the ending are in the same place and state. 

"Then the downward-turned and unreasoning elements brought forth creatures without Reason. 
Substance could not bestow Reason, for Reason had ascended out of it. The air produced flying things 
and the waters such as swim. The earth conceived strange four-footed and creeping beasts, dragons, 
composite demons, and grotesque monsters. Then the Father— the Supreme Mind— being Light and 
Life, fashioned a glorious Universal Man in Its own image, not an earthy man but a heavenly Man 
dwelling in the Light of God. The Supreme Mind loved the Man It had fashioned and delivered to 
Him the control of the creations and workmanships. 

"The Man, desiring to labor, took up His abode in the sphere of generation and observed the works of 
His brother— the Second Mind— which sat upon the Ring of the Fire. And having beheld the 
achievements of the Fiery Workman, He willed also to make things, and His Father gave permission. 
The Seven Governors, of whose powers He partook, rejoiced and each gave the Man a share of Its own 

"The Man longed to pierce the circumference of the circles and understand the mystery of Him who 
sat upon the Eternal Fire. Having already all power. He stooped down and peeped through the seven 
Harmonies and, breaking through the strength of the circles, made Himself manifest to Nature 
stretched out below. The Man, looking into the depths, smiled, for He beheld a shadow upon the 
earth and a likeness mirrored in the waters, which shadow and likeness were a reflection of Himself. 
The Man fell in love with His own shadow and desired to descend into it. Coincident with the desire, 
the Intelligent Thing united Itself with the unreasoning image or shape. 

"Nature, beholding the descent, wrapped herself about the Man whom she loved, and the two were 
mingled. For this reason, earthy man is composite. Within him is the Sky Man, immortal and 
beautiful; without is Nature, mortal and destructible. Thus, suffering is the result of the Immortal 
Man's falling in love with His shadow and giving up Reality to dwell in the darkness of illusion; for, 
being immortal, man has the power of the Seven Governors—also the Life, the Light, and the Word- 
but being mortal, he is controlled by the Rings of the Governors—Fate or Destiny. 

"Of the Immortal Man it should be said that He is hermaphrodite, or male and female, and eternally 
watchful. He neither slumbers nor sleeps, and is governed by a Father also both male and female, and 
ever watchful. Such is the mystery kept hidden to this day, for Nature, being mingled in marriage with 
the Sky Man, brought forth a wonder most wonderful— seven men, all bisexual, male and female, and 
upright of stature, each one exemplifying the natures of the Seven Governors. These O Hermes, are 
the seven races, species, and wheels. 

"After this manner were the seven men generated. Earth was the female element and water the male 
element, and from the fire and the gether they received their spirits, and Nature produced bodies after 
the species and shapes of men. And man received the Life and Light of the Great Dragon, and of the 
Life was made his Soul and of the Light his Mind. And so, all these composite creatures containing 
immortality, but partaking of mortality, continued in this state for the duration of a period. They 
reproduced themselves out of themselves, for each was male and female. But at the end of the period 
the knot of Destiny was untied by the will of God and the bond of all things was loosened. 

"Then all living creatures, including man, which had been hermaphroditical, were separated, the 
males being set apart by themselves and the females likewise, according to the dictates of Reason. 

"Then God spoke to the Holy Word within the soul of all things, saying: 'Increase in increasing and 
multiply in multitudes, all you, my creatures and workmanships. Let him that is endued with Mind 
know himself to be immortal and that the cause of death is the love of the body; and let him learn all 
things that are, for he who has recognized himself enters into the state of Good.' 

The name Hermes is derived from "Herm," a form of CHiram, the Personified Universal Life Principle, generally 
represented by fire. The Scandinavians worshiped Hermes under the name of Odin; the Teutons as Wotan, and certain of 
the Oriental peoples as Buddha, or Fo. There are two theories concerning his demise. The first declares that Hermes was 

Sexmes KTJIN. 


From Bryant's Mythology. 

translated like Enoch and carried without death into the presence of God, the second states that he was buried in the 
Valley of Ebron and a great treasure placed in his tomb—not a treasure of gold but of books and sacred learning. 

The Egyptians likened humanity to a flock of sheep. The Supreme and Inconceivable Father was the Shepherd, and 
Hermes was the shepherd dog. The origin of the shepherd's crook in religious symbolism may be traced to the Egyptian 
rituals. The three scepters of Egypt include the shepherd's crook, symbolizing that by virtue of the power reposing in that 
symbolic staff the initiated Pharaohs guided the destiny of their people. 

p. 40 

"And when God had said this, Providence, with the aid of the Seven Governors and Harmony, brought 
the sexes together, making the mixtures and estabhshing the generations, and all things were 
multiplied according to their kind. He who through the error of attachment loves his body, abides 
wandering in darkness, sensible and suffering the things of death, but he who realizes that the body is 
but the tomb of his soul, rises to immortality." 

Then Hermes desired to know why men should be deprived of immortality for the sin of ignorance 
alone. The Great Dragon answered:. To the ignorant the body is supreme and they are incapable of 
realizing the immortality that is within them. Knowing only the body which is subject to death, they 
believe in death because they worship that substance which is the cause and reality of death." 

Then Hermes asked how the righteous and wise pass to God, to which Poimandres replied: "That 
which the Word of God said, say I: 'Because the Father of all things consists of Life and Light, whereof 
man is made.' If, therefore, a man shall learn and understand the nature of Life and Light, then he 
shall pass into the eternity of Life and Light." 

Hermes next inquired about the road by which the wise attained to Life eternal, and Poimandres 
continued: "Let the man endued with a Mind mark, consider, and learn of himself, and with the 
power of his Mind divide himself from his not-self and become a servant of Reality." 

Hermes asked if all men did not have Minds, and the Great Dragon replied: "Take heed what you say, 
for I am the Mind—the Eternal Teacher. I am the Father of the Word—the Redeemer of all men— and 
in the nature of the wise the Word takes flesh. By means of the Word, the world is saved. I, Thought 
(Thoth)~the Father of the Word, the Mind— come only unto men that are holy and good, pure and 
merciful, and that live piously and religiously, and my presence is an inspiration and a help to them, 
for when I come they immediately know all things and adore the Universal Father. Before such wise 
and philosophic ones die, they learn to renounce their senses, knowing that these are the enemies of 
their immortal souls. 

"I will not permit the evil senses to control the bodies of those who love me, nor will I allow evil 
emotions and evil thoughts to enter them. I become as a porter or doorkeeper, and shut out evil, 
protecting the wise from their own lower nature. But to the wicked, the envious and the covetous, I 
come not, for such cannot understand the mysteries of Mind; therefore, I am unwelcome. I leave 
them to the avenging demon that they are making in their own souls, for evil each day increases itself 
and torments man more sharply, and each evil deed adds to the evil deeds that are gone before until 
finally evil destroys itself. The punishment of desire is the agony of unfulfillment." 

Hermes bowed his head in thankfulness to the Great Dragon who had taught him so much, and 
begged to hear more concerning the ultimate of the human soul. So Poimandres resumed: "At death 
the material body of man is returned to the elements from which it came, and the invisible divine 
man ascends to the source from whence he came, namely the Eighth Sphere. The evil passes to the 
dwelling place of the demon, and the senses, feelings, desires, and body passions return to their 
source, namely the Seven Governors, whose natures in the lower man destroy but in the invisible 
spiritual man give life. 

"After the lower nature has returned to the brutishness, the higher struggles again to regain its 
spiritual estate. It ascends the seven Rings upon which sit the Seven Governors and returns to each 
their lower powers in this manner: Upon the first ring sits the Moon, and to it is returned the ability 
to increase and diminish. Upon the second ring sits Mercury, and to it are returned machinations, 
deceit, and craftiness. Upon the third ring sits Venus, and to it are returned the lusts and passions. 
Upon the fourth ring sits the Sun, and to this Lord are returned ambitions. Upon the fifth ring sits 
Mars, and to it are returned rashness and profane boldness. Upon the sixth ring sits Jupiter, and to it 
are returned the sense of accumulation and riches. And upon the seventh ring sits Saturn, at the Gate 
of Chaos, and to it are returned falsehood and evil plotting. 

"Then, being naked of all the accumulations of the seven Rings, the soul comes to the Eighth Sphere, 
namely, the ring of the fixed stars. Here, freed of all illusion, it dwells in the Light and sings praises to 
the Father in a voice which only the pure of spirit may understand. Behold, O Hermes, there is a great 
mystery in the Eighth Sphere, for the Milky Way is the seed-ground of souls, and from it they drop 
into the Rings, and to the Milky Way they return again from the wheels of Saturn. But some cannot 
climb the seven-runged ladder of the Rings. So they wander in darkness below and are swept into 
eternity with the illusion of sense and earthiness. 

"The path to immortality is hard, and only a few find it. The rest await the Great Day when the wheels 
of the universe shall be stopped and the immortal sparks shall escape from the sheaths of substance. 
Woe unto those who wait, for they must return again, unconscious and unknowing, to the seed- 
ground of stars, and await a new beginning. Those who are saved by the light of the mystery which I 
have revealed unto you, O Hermes, and which I now bid you to establish among men, shall return 
again to the Father who dwelleth in the White Light, and shall deliver themselves up to the Light and 
shall be absorbed into the Light, and in the Light they shall become Powers in God. This is the Way of 
Good and is revealed only to them that have wisdom. 

"Blessed art thou, O Son of Light, to whom of all men, I, Poimandres, the Light of the World, have 
revealed myself. I order you to go forth, to become as a guide to those who wander in darkness, that 
all men within whom dwells the spirit of My Mind (The Universal Mind) may be saved by My Mind in 
you, which shall call forth My Mind in them. Establish My Mysteries and they shall not fail from the 
earth, for I am the Mind of the Mysteries and until Mind fails (which is never) my Mysteries cannot 
fail." With these parting words, Poimandres, radiant with celestial light, vanished, mingling with the 
powers of the heavens. Raising his eyes unto the heavens, Hermes blessed the Father of All Things 
and consecrated his life to the service of the Great Light. 

Thus preached Hermes: "O people of the earth, men born and made of the elements, but with the 
spirit of the Divine Man within you, rise from your sleep of ignorance! Be sober and thoughtful. 
Realize that your home is not in the earth but in the Light. Why have you delivered yourselves over 
unto death, having power to partake of immortality? Repent, and change your minds. Depart from 
the dark light and forsake corruption forever. Prepare yourselves to climb through the Seven Rings 
and to blend your souls with the eternal Light." 

Some who heard mocked and scoffed and went their way, delivering themselves to the Second Death 
from which there is no salvation. But others, casting themselves before the feet of Hermes, besought 
him to teach them the Way of Life. He lifted them gently, receiving no approbation for himself, and 
staff in hand, went forth teaching and guiding mankind, and showing them how they might be saved. 
In the worlds of men, Hermes sowed the seeds of wisdom and nourished the seeds with the Immortal 
Waters. And at last came the evening of his life, and as the brightness of the light of earth was 
beginning to go down, Hermes commanded his disciples to preserve his doctrines inviolate 
throughout all ages. The Vision of Poimandres he committed to writing that all men desiring 
immortality might therein find the way. 

In concluding his exposition of the Vision, Hermes wrote: "The sleep of the body is the sober 
watchfulness of the Mind and the shutting of my eyes reveals the true Light. My silence is filled with 
budding life and hope, and is full of good. My words are the blossoms of fruit of the tree of my soul. 
For this is the faithful account of what I received from my true Mind, that is Poimandres, the Great 
Dragon, the Lord of the Word, through whom I became inspired by God with the Truth. Since that 
day my Mind has been ever with me and in my own soul it hath given birth to the Word: the Word is 
Reason, and Reason hath redeemed me. For which cause, with all my soul and all my strength, I give 
praise and blessing unto God the Father, the Life and the Light, and the Eternal Good. 

"Holy is God, the Father of all things, the One who is before the First Beginning. 

"Holy is God, whose will is performed and accomplished by His own Powers which He hath given 
birth to out of Himself. 

"Holy is God, who has determined that He shall be known, and who is known by His own to whom He 
reveals Himself. 

"Holy art Thou, who by Thy Word (Reason) hast established all things. 

"Holy art Thou, of whom all Nature is the image. 

"Holy art Thou, whom the inferior nature has not formed. 

"Holy art Thou, who art stronger than all powers. 

"Holy art Thou, who art greater than all excellency. 

"Holy art Thou, who art better than all praise. 

"Accept these reasonable sacrifices from a pure soul and a heart stretched out unto Thee. 
"O Thou Unspeakable, Unutterable, to be praised with silence! 

"I beseech Thee to look mercifully upon me, that I may not err from the knowledge of Thee and that I 
may enlighten those that are in ignorance, my brothers and Thy sons. 

"Therefore I believe Thee and bear witness unto Thee, and depart in peace and in trustfulness into 
Thy Light and Life. 

"Blessed art Thou, O Father! The man Thou hast fashioned would be sanctified with Thee as Thou 
hast given him power to sanctify others with Thy Word and Thy Truth." 

The Vision of Hermes, like nearly all of the Hermetic writings, is an allegorical exposition of great 
philosophic and mystic truths, and its hidden meaning may be comprehended only by those who have 
been "raised" into the presence of the True Mind. 

• 41 

The Initiation of the Pyramid 

SUPREME among the wonders of antiquity, unrivaled by the achievements of later architects and 
builders, the Great Pyramid of Gizeh bears mute witness to an unknown civilization which, having 
completed its predestined span, passed into oblivion. Eloquent in its silence, inspiring in its majesty, 
divine in its simplicity, the Great Pyramid is indeed a sermon in stone. Its magnitude overwhelms the 
puny sensibilities of man. Among the shifting sands of time it stands as a fitting emblem of eternity 
itself. Who were the illumined mathematicians who planned its parts and dimensions, the master 
craftsmen who supervised its construction, the skilled artisans who trued its blocks of stone? 

The earliest and best-known account of the building of the Great Pyramid is that given by that highly 
revered but somewhat imaginative historian, Herodotus. "The pyramid was built in steps, battlement- 
wise, as it is called, or, according to others, altar-wise. After laying the stones for the base, they raised 
the remaining stones to their places by means of machines formed of short wooden planks. The first 
machine raised them from the ground to the top of the first step. On this there was another machine, 
which received the stone upon its arrival, and conveyed it to the second step, whence a third machine 
advanced it still higher. Either they had as many machines as there were steps in the pyramid, or 
possibly they had but a single machine, which, being easily moved, was transferred from tier to tier as 
the stone rose. Both accounts are given, and therefore I mention both. The upper portion of the 
pyramid was finished first, then the middle, and finally the part which was lowest and nearest the 
ground. There is an inscription in Egyptian characters on the pyramid which records the quantity of 
radishes, onions, and garlick consumed by the labourers who constructed it; and I perfectly well 
remember that the interpreter who read the writing to me said that the money expended in this way 
was 1600 talents of silver. If this then is a true record, what a vast sum must have been spent on the 
iron tools used in the work, and on the feeding and clothing of the labourers, considering the length 
of time the work lasted, which has already been stated [ten years], and the additional time—no small 
space, I imagine—which must have been occupied by the quarrying of the stones, their conveyance, 
and the formation of the underground apartments." 

While his account is extremely colorful, it is apparent that the Father of History, for reasons which he 
doubtless considered sufficient, concocted a fraudulent story to conceal the true origin and purpose of 
the Great Pyramid. This is but one of several instances in his writings which would lead the 
thoughtful reader to suspect that Herodotus himself was an initiate of the Sacred Schools and 
consequently obligated to preserve inviolate the secrets of the ancient orders. The theory advanced by 
Herodotus and now generally accepted that the Pyramid was the tomb of the Pharaoh Cheops cannot 
be substantiated. In fact, Manetho, Eratosthenes, and Diodorus Siculus all differ from Herodotus— as 
well as from each other— regarding the name of the builder of this supreme edifice. The sepulchral 
vault, which, according to the Lepsius Law of pyramid construction, should have been finished at the 
same time as the monument or sooner, was never completed. There is no proof that the building was 
erected by the Egyptians, for the elaborate carvings with which the burial chambers of Egyptian 
royalty are almost invariably ornamented are entirely lacking and it embodies none of the elements of 
their architecture or decoration, such as inscriptions, images, cartouches, paintings, and other 
distinctive features associated with dynastic mortuary art. The only hieroglyphics to be found within 
the Pyramid are a few builders' marks sealed up in the chambers of construction, first opened by 
Howard Vyse. These apparently were painted upon the stones before they were set in position, for in a 
number of instances the marks were either inverted or disfigured by the operation of fitting the blocks 
together. While Egyptologists have attempted to identify the crude dabs of paint as cartouches of 
Cheops, it is almost inconceivable that this ambitious ruler would have permitted his royal name to 
suffer such indignities. As the most eminent authorities on the subject are still uncertain as to the true 
meaning of these crude markings, whatever proof they might be that the building was erected during 

the fourth dynasty is certainly offset by the sea shells at the base of the Pyramid which Mr. Gab 

advances as evidence that it was erected before the Deluge—a theory substantiated by the much- 
abused Arabian traditions. One Arabian historian declared that the Pyramid was built by the Egyptian 
sages as a refuge against the Flood, while another proclaimed it to have been the treasure house of the 
powerful antediluvian king Sheddad Ben Ad. A panel of hieroglyphs over the entrance, which the 
casual observer might consider to afford a solution of the mystery, unfortunately dates back no 
further than A.D. 1843, having been cut at that time by Dr. Lepsius as a tribute to the King of Prussia. 

Caliph al Mamoun, an illustrious descendant of the Prophet, inspired by stories of the immense 
treasures sealed within its depths, journeyed from Bagdad to Cairo, A.D. 820, with a great force of 
workmen to open the mighty Pyramid. When Caliph al Mamoun first reached the foot of the "Rock of 
Ages" and gazed up at its smooth glistening surface, a tumult of emotions undoubtedly racked his 
soul. The casing stones must have been in place at the time of his visit, for the Caliph could find no 
indication of an entrance—four perfectly smooth surfaces confronted him. Following vague rumors, 
he set his followers to work on the north side of the Pyramid, with instructions to keep on cutting and 
chiseling until they discovered something. To the Moslems with their crude instruments and vinegar 
it was a herculean effort to tunnel a full hundred feet through the limestone. Many times they were on 
the point of rebellion, but the word of the Caliph was law and the hope of a vast fortune buoyed them 

At last on the eve of total discouragement fate came to their rescue. A great stone was heard to fall 
somewhere in the wall near the toiling and disgruntled Arabs. Pushing on toward the sound with 
renewed enthusiasm, they finally broke into the descending passage which leads into the 
subterranean chamber. They then chiseled their way around the great stone portcullis which had 
fallen into a position barring their progress, and attacked and removed one after another the granite 
plugs which for a while continued to slide down the passage leading from the Queen's Chamber above. 

Finally no more blocks descended and the way was clear for the followers of the Prophet. But where 
were the treasures? From room to room the frantic workmen rushed, looking in vain for loot. The 
discontent of the Moslems reached such a height that Caliph al Mamoun— who had inherited much of 
the wisdom of his illustrious father, the Caliph al Raschid— sent to Bagdad for funds, which he caused 
to be secretly buried near the entrance of the Pyramid. He then ordered his men to dig at that spot 
and great was their rejoicing when the treasure was discovered, the workmen being deeply impressed 
by the wisdom of the antediluvian monarch who had carefully estimated their wages and thoughtfully 
caused the exact amount to be buried for their benefit! 

The Caliph then returned to the city of his fathers and the Great Pyramid was left to the mercy of 
succeeding generations. In the ninth century the sun's rays striking the highly polished surfaces of the 
original casing stones caused each side of the Pyramid to appear as 


From Levi's Les Mysteres de la Kaballe. 

The Egyptian Sphinx is closely related to the Greek legend of (Edipus, who first solved the famous riddle propounded by 
the mysterious creature with the body of a winged lion and the head of a woman which frequented the highway leading to 
Thebes. To each who passed her lair the sphinx addressed the question, "What animal is it that in the morning goes on 
four feet, at noon on two feet, and in the evening on three feet?" These who failed to answer her riddle she destroyed. 
CEdipus declared the answer to be man himself, who in childhood crawled upon his hands and knees, in manhood stood 
erect, and in old age shuffled along supporting himself by a staff. Discovering one who knew the answer to her riddle, the 
sphinx cast herself from the cliff which bordered the road and perished. 

There is still another answer to the riddle of the sphinx, an answer best revealed by a consideration of the Pythagorean 
values of numbers. The 4, the 2 and the 3 produce the sum of 9, which is the natural number of man and also of the lower 
worlds. The 4 represents the ignorant man, the 2 the intellectual man, and the 3 the spiritual man. Infant humanity walks 
on four legs, evolving humanity on two legs, and to the power of his own mind the redeemed and illumined magus adds 
the staff of wisdom. The sphinx is therefore the mystery of Nature, the embodiment of the secret doctrine, and all who 
cannot solve her riddle perish. To pass the sphinx is to attain personal immortality. 

p. 42 

a dazzling triangle of light. Since that time, all but two of these casing stones have disappeared. 
Investigation has resulted in their discovery, recut and resurfaced, in the walls of Mohammedan 
mosques and palaces in various parts of Cairo and its environs. 


C. Piazzi Smyth asks: "Was the Great Pyramid, then, erected before the invention of hieroglyphics, 

and previous to the birth of the Egyptian religion?" Time may yet prove that the upper chambers of 
the Pyramid were a sealed mystery before the establishment of the Egyptian empire. In the 
subterranean chamber, however, are markings which indicate that the Romans gained admission 
there. In the light of the secret philosophy of the Egyptian initiates, W. W. Harmon, by a series of 
extremely complicated yet exact mathematical calculations; determines that the first ceremonial of 
the Pyramid was performed 68,890 years ago on the occasion when the star Vega for the first time 

sent its ray down the descending passage into the pit. The actual building of the Pyramid was 
accomplished in the period of from ten to fifteen years immediately preceding this date. 

While such figures doubtless will evoke the ridicule of modern Egyptologists, they are based upon an 
exhaustive study of the principles of sidereal mechanics as incorporated into the structure of the 
Pyramid by its initiated builders. If the casing stones were in position at the beginning of the ninth 
century, the so-called erosion marks upon the outside were not due to water. The theory also that the 
salt upon the interior stones of the Pyramid is evidence that the building was once submerged is 
weakened by the scientific fact that this kind of stone is subject to exudations of salt. While the 
building may have been submerged, at least in part, during the many thousands of years since its 
erection, the evidence adduced to prove this point is not conclusive. 

The Great Pyramid was built of limestone and granite throughout, the two kinds of rock being 
combined in a peculiar and significant manner. The stones were trued with the utmost precision, and 
the cement used was of such remarkable quality that it is now practically as hard as the stone itself. 
The limestone blocks were sawed with bronze saws, the teeth of which were diamonds or other jewels. 
The chips from the stones were piled against the north side of the plateau on which the structure 
stands, where they form an additional buttress to aid in supporting the weight of the structure. The 
entire Pyramid is an example of perfect orientation and actually squares the circle. This last is 
accomplished by dropping a vertical line from the apex of the Pyramid to its base line. If this vertical 
line be considered as the radius of an imaginary circle, the length of the circumference of such a circle 
will be found to equal the sum of the base lines of the four sides of the Pyramid. 

If the passage leading to the King's Chamber and the Queen's Chamber was sealed up thousands of 
years before the Christian Era, those later admitted into the Pyramid Mysteries must have received 
their initiations in subterranean galleries now unknown. Without such galleries there could have been 
no possible means of ingress or egress, since the single surface entrance was completely dosed with 
casing stones. If not blocked by the mass of the Sphinx or concealed in some part of that image, the 
secret entrance may be either in one of the adjacent temples or upon the sides of the limestone 

Attention is called to the granite plugs filling the ascending passageway to the Queen's Chamber 
which Caliph al Mamoun was forced practically to pulverize before he could clear a way into the upper 
chambers. C. Piazzi Sm5ith notes that the positions of the stones demonstrate that they were set in 
place from above—which made it necessary for a considerable number of workmen to depart from the 
upper chambers. How did they do it? Smyth believes they descended through the well (see diagram), 
dropping the ramp stone into place behind them. He further contends that robbers probably used the 
well as a means of getting into the upper chambers. The ramp stone having been set in a bed of 
plaster, the robbers were forced to break through it, leaving a jagged opening. Mr. Dupre, an architect 
who has spent years investigating the pyramids, differs from Smyth, however, in that he believes the 
well itself to be a robbers' hole, being the first successful attempt made to enter the upper chambers 
from the subterranean chamber, then the only open section of the Pyramid. 

Mr. Dupre bases his conclusion upon the fact that the well is merely a rough hole and the grotto an 
irregular chamber, without any evidence of the architectural precision with which the remainder of 
the structure was erected. The diameter of the well also precludes the possibility of its having been 
dug downward; it must have been gouged out from below, and the grotto was necessary to supply air 
to the thieves. It is inconceivable that the Pyramid builders would break one of their own ramp stones 
and leave its broken surface and a gaping hole in the side wall of their otherwise perfect gallery. If the 
well is a robbers' hole, it may explain why the Pyramid was empty when Caliph al Mamoun entered it 
and what happened to the missing coffer lid. A careful examination of the so-called unfinished 
subterranean chamber, which must have been the base of operations for the robbers, might disclose 
traces of their presence or show where they piled the rubble which must have accumulated as a result 

of their operations. While it is not entirely clear by what entrance the robbers reached the 
subterranean chamber, it is improbable that they used the descending passageway. 

There is a remarkable niche in the north wall of the Queen's Chamber which the Mohammedan 
guides glibly pronounce to be a shrine. The general shape of this niche, however, with its walls 
converging by a series of overlaps like those of the Grand Gallery, would indicate that originally it had 
been intended as a passageway. Efforts made to explore this niche have been nonproductive, but Mr. 
Dupre believes an entrance to exist here through which—if the well did not exist at the time—the 
workmen made their exit from the Pyramid after dropping the stone plugs into the ascending gallery. 

Biblical scholars have contributed a number of most extraordinary conceptions regarding the Great 
Pyramid. This ancient edifice has been identified by them as Joseph's granary (despite its hopelessly 
inadequate capacity); as the tomb prepared for the unfortunate Pharaoh of the Exodus who could not 
be buried there because his body was never recovered from the Red Sea; and finally as a perpetual 
confirmation of the infallibility of the numerous prophecies contained in the Authorized Version! 


Although the Great Pyramid, as Ignatius Donnelly has demonstrated, is patterned after an 
antediluvian type of architecture, examples of which are to be found in nearly every part of the world, 
the Sphinx (Hu) is typically Egyptian. The stele between its paws states the Sphinx is an image of the 
Sun God, Harmackis, which was evidently made in the similitude of the Pharaoh during whose reign 
it was chiseled. The statue was restored and completely excavated by Tahutmes IV as the result of a 
vision in which the god had appeared and declared himself oppressed by the weight of the sand about 
his body. The broken beard of the Sphinx was discovered during excavations between the front paws. 
The steps leading up to the sphinx and also the temple and altar between the paws are much later 
additions, probably Roman, for it is known that the Romans reconstructed many Egyptian antiquities. 
The shallow depression in the crown of the head, once thought to be the terminus of a closed up 
passageway leading from the Sphinx to the Great Pyramid, was merely intended to help support a 
headdress now missing. 

Metal rods have been driven into the Sphinx in a vain effort to discover chambers or passages within 
its body. The major part of the Sphinx is a single stone, but the front paws have been built up of 
smaller stones. The Sphinx is about 200 feet long, 70 feet high, and 38 feet wide across the shoulders. 
The main stone from which it was carved is believed by some to have been transported from distant 
quarries by methods unknown, while others assert it to be native rock, possibly an outcropping 
somewhat resembling the form into which it was later carved. The theory once advanced that both the 
Pyramid and the Sphinx were built from artificial stones made on the spot has been abandoned. A 
careful analysis of the limestone shows it to be composed of small sea creatures called mummulites. 

The popular supposition that the Sphinx was the true portal of the Great Pyramid, while it survives 
with surprising tenacity, has never been substantiated. P. Christian presents this theory as follows, 
basing it in part upon the authority of lamblichus: 

"The Sphinx of Gizeh, says the author of the Traite des Mysteres, served as the entrance to the sacred 
subterranean chambers in which the trials of the initiate were undergone. This entrance, obstructed 
in our day by sands and rubbish, may still be traced between the forelegs of the crouched colossus. It 
was formerly closed by a bronze gate whose secret spring could be operated only by the Magi. It was 
guarded by public respect: and a sort of religious fear maintained its inviolability better than armed 
protection would have done. In the belly of the Sphinx were cut out galleries leading to the 
subterranean part of the Great Pyramid. These galleries were so artfully crisscrossed along their 
course to the Pyramid that in setting forth into the passage without a guide through this network, one 
ceaselessly and inevitably returned to the starting point." (See Histoire de la Magie.) 

Unfortunately, the bronze door referred to cannot be found, nor is there any evidence that it ever existed. The passing centuries have 
wrought many changes in the colossus, however, and the original opening may have been closed. 

Nearly all students of the subject believe that subterranean chambers exist beneath the Great Pyramid. Robert Ballard writes: "The priests 
of the Pyramids of Lake Moeris had their vast subterranean residences. It appears to me more than probable that those of Gizeh were 
similarly provided. And I may go further:~Out of these very caverns may have been excavated the limestone of which the Pyramids were 
built. * * * In the bowels of the limestone ridge on which 


VtriidSali Sa-tij>n/, Iseidu Wtst/, 


By jtM^Mjjmi ^it/. 

^ .Ti- ' — J- B> 


From Smyth's Life and Wok at the Great Pyramid. 

The Great Pyramid stands upon a limestone plateau at the base of which, according to ancient history, the Nile once 
flooded, thus supplying a method for the huge blocks used in its construction. Presuming that the capstone as originally in 
place, the Pyramid is, according to John Taylor, in round figures 486 feet high; the base of each side is 764 feet long, and 
the entire structure covers a ground area of more than 13 acres. 

The Great Pyramid is the only one in the group at Gizeh~in fact, as far as known, the only one in Egypt—that has 
chambers within the actual body of the Pyramid itself Far this reason it is said to refute the Lepsius Law, which asserts 
that each of these structures is a monument raised over a subterranean chamber in which a ruler is entombed. The 
Pyramid contains four chambers, which in the diagram are lettered K, H, F, and O. 

The King's Chamber (K) is an oblong apartment 39 feet long, 17 felt wide, and 19 feet high (disregarding fractional parts of 
a foot in each case), with a flat roof consisting of nine great stones, the largest in the Pyramid. Above the King's Chamber 
are five low compartments (L), generally termed construction chambers. In the lowest of these the so-called hieroglj^hs 
of the Pharaoh Cheops are located. The roof of the fifth construction chamber is peaked. At the end of the King's Chamber 
opposite the entrance stands the famous sarcophagus, or coffer (I), and behind it is a shallow opening that was dug in the 
hope of discovering valuables. Two air vents (M, N) passing through the entire body of the Pyramid ventilate the King's 
Chamber. In itself this is sufficient to establish that the building was not intended for a tomb. 

Between the upper end of the Grand Gallery (G. G.) and the King's Chamber is a small antechamber (H), its extreme 
length 9 feet, its extreme width 5 feet, and its extreme height 12 feet, with its walls grooved far purposes now unknown. In 
the groove nearest the Grand Gallery is a slab of stone in two sections, with a peculiar boss or knob protruding about an 
inch from the surface of the upper part facing the Grand Gallery. This stone does not reach to the floor of the antechamber 
and those entering the King's Chamber must pass under the slab. From the King's Chamber, the Grand Gallery— 157 feet in 
length, 28 feet in height, 7 feet in width at its widest point and decreasing to 31/2 feet as the result of seven converging 
overlaps, of the stones forming the walls— descends to a little above the level of the Queen's Chamber. Here a gallery (E) 
branches off, passing mere than 100 feet back towards the center of the Pyramid and opening into the Queen's Chamber 
(F). The Queen's Chamber is 19 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 20 feet high. Its roof is peaked and composed of great slabs of 
stone. Air passages not shown lead from the Queen's Chamber, but these were not open originally. In the east wall of the 
Queen's Chamber is a peculiar niche of gradually converging stone, which in all likelihood, may prove to be a new lost 
entrance way. 

At the paint where the Grand Gallery ends and the horizontal passage towards the Queen's Chamber begins is the 
entrance to the well and also the opening leading down the first ascending passage (D) to the point where this passage 
meets the descending passage (A) leading from the outer wall of the Pyramid down to the subterranean chamber. After 
descending 59 feet down the well (P), the grotto is reached. Continuing through the floor of the grotto the well leads 
downward 133 feet to the descending entrance passage (A), which it meets a short distance before this passage becomes 
horizontal and leads into the subterranean chamber. 

The subterranean chamber (O) is about 46 feet long and 27 feet wide, but is extremely low, the ceiling varying in height 
from a little over 3 feet to about 13 feet fi-om the rough and apparently unflnished floor. From the south side of the 
subterranean chamber a low tunnel runs about 50 feet and then meets a blank wall. These constitute the only known 
openings in the Pyramid, with the exception of a few niches, exploration holes, blind passages, and the rambling 
cavernous tunnel (B) hewn out by the Moslems under the leadership of the Prophet's descendant. Caliph al Mamoun. 

the Pyramids are built will yet be found, I feel convinced, ample information as to their uses. A good 
diamond drill with two or three hundred feet of rods is what is wanted to test this, and the solidarity 
of the Pyramids at the same time." (See The Solution of the Pyramid Problem.) 

Mr. Ballard's theory of extensive underground apartments and quarries brings up an important 
problem in architectonics. The Pyramid builders were too farsighted to endanger the permanence of 
the Great Pyramid by placing over five million tons of limestone and granite on any but a solid 
foundation. It is therefore reasonably certain that such chambers or passageways as may exist 
beneath the building are relatively insignificant, like those within the body of the structure, which 
occupy less than one sixteen-hundredth of the cubic contents of the Pyramid. 

The Sphinx was undoubtedly erected for symbolical purposes at the instigation of the priestcraft. The 
theories that the urseus upon its forehead was originally the finger of an immense sundial and that 

both the Pyramid and the Sphinx were used to measure time, the seasons, and the precession of the 
equinoxes are ingenious but not wholly convincing. If this great creature was erected to obliterate the 
ancient passageway leading into the subterranean temple of the Pyramid, its symbolism would be 
most appropriate. In comparison with the overwhelming size and dignity of the Great Pyramid, the 
Sphinx is almost insignificant. Its battered face, upon which may still be seen vestiges of the red paint 
with which the figure was originally covered, is disfigured beyond recognition. Its nose was broken off 
by a fanatical Mohammedan, lest the followers of the Prophet be led into idolatry. The very nature of 
its construction and the present repairs necessary to prevent the head from falling off indicate that it 
could not have survived the great periods of time which have elapsed since the erection of the 

To the Egyptians, the Sphinx was the symbol of strength and intelligence. It was portrayed as 
androgynous to signify that they recognized the initiates and gods as partaking of both the positive 
and negative creative powers. Gerald Massey writes: "This is the secret of the Sphinx. The orthodox 
sphinx of Egypt is masculine in front and feminine behind. So is the image of Sut-Typhon, a type of 
horn and tail, male in front and female behind. The Pharaohs, who wore the tail of the Lioness or Cow 
behind them, were male in front and female behind. Like the Gods they included the dual totality of 
Being in one person, born of the Mother, but of both sexes as the Child." (See The Natural Genesis.) 

Most investigators have ridiculed the Sphinx and, without even deigning to investigate the great 
colossus, have turned their attention to the more overwhelming mystery of the Pyramid. 


The word pyramid is popularly supposed to be derived from nvp, fire, thus signifying that it is the 
symbolic representation of the One Divine Flame, the life of every creature. John Taylor believes the 
word pyramid to mean a "measure of wheat, " while C. Piazzi Smyth favors the Coptic meaning, "a 
division into ten." The initiates of 


old accepted the pyramid form as the ideal symbol of both the secret doctrine and those institutions 
established for its dissemination. Both pyramids and mounds are antitypes of the Holy Mountain, or 
High Place of God, which was believed to stand in the "midst" of the earth. John P. Lundy relates the 
Great Pyramid to the fabled Olympus, further assuming that its subterranean passages correspond to 
the tortuous byways of Hades. 

The square base of the Pyramid is a constant reminder that the House of Wisdom is firmly founded 
upon Nature and her immutable laws. "The Gnostics," writes Albert Pike, "claimed that the whole 
edifice of their science rested on a square whose angles were: Siyr), Silence; BuGog, Profundity; Noug, 
Intelligence; and AXriGeia Truth." (See Morals and Dogma.) The sides of the Great Pyramid face the 
four cardinal angles, the latter signifying according to Eliphas Levi the extremities of heat and cold 
(south and north) and the extremities of light and darkness (east and west). The base of the Pyramid 
further represents the four material elements or substances from the combinations of which the 
quaternary body of man is formed. From each side of the square there rises a triangle, typifying the 
threefold divine being enthroned within every quaternary material nature. If each base line be 
considered a square from which ascends a threefold spiritual power, then the sum of the lines of the 
four faces (12) and the four hypothetical squares (16) constituting the base is 28, the sacred number 
of the lower world. If this be added to the three septenaries composing the sun (21), it equals 49, the 
square of 7 and the number of the universe. 

The twelve signs of the zodiac, like the Governors' of the lower worlds, are symbolized by the twelve 
lines of the four triangles—the faces of the Pyramid. In the midst of each face is one of the beasts of 

Ezekiel, and the structure as a whole becomes the Cherubim. The three main chambers of the 

Pyramid are related to the heart, the brain, and the generative system—the spiritual centers of the 
human constitution. The triangular form of the Pyramid also is similar to the posture assumed by the 
body during the ancient meditative exercises. The Mysteries taught that the divine energies from the 
gods descended upon the top of the Pyramid, which was likened to an inverted tree with its branches 
below and its roots at the apex. From this inverted tree the divine wisdom is disseminated by 
streaming down the diverging sides and radiating throughout the world. 

The size of the capstone of the Great Pyramid cannot be accurately determined, for, while most 
investigators have assumed that it was once in place, no vestige of it now remains. There is a curious 
tendency among the builders of great religious edifices to leave their creations unfinished, thereby 
signifying that God alone is complete. The capstone—if it existed— was itself a miniature pyramid, the 
apex of which again would be capped by a smaller block of similar shape, and so on ad infinitum. The 
capstone therefore is the epitome of the entire structure. Thus, the Pyramid may be likened to the 
universe and the capstone to man. Following the chain of analogy, the mind is the capstone of man, 
the spirit the capstone of the mind, and God— the epitome of the whole— the capstone of the spirit. As 
a rough and unfinished block, man is taken from the quarry and by the secret culture of the Mysteries 
gradually transformed into a trued and perfect pyramidal capstone. The temple is complete only 
when the initiate himself becomes the living apex through which the divine power is focused into the 
diverging structure below. 

W. Marsham Adams calls the Great Pyramid "the House of the Hidden Places"; such indeed it was, 
for it represented the inner sanctuary of pre-Egyptian wisdom. By the Egyptians the Great Pyramid 
was associated with Hermes, the god of wisdom and letters and the Divine Illuminator worshiped 
through the planet Mercury. Relating Hermes to the Pyramid emphasizes anew the fact that it was in 
reality the supreme temple of the Invisible and Supreme Deity. The Great Pyramid was not a 
lighthouse, an observatory, or a tomb, but the first temple of the Mysteries, the first structure erected 
as a repository for those secret truths which are the certain foundation of all arts and sciences. It was 
the perfect emblem of the microcosm and the macrocosm and, according to the secret teachings, the 
tomb of Osiris, the black god of the Nile. Osiris represents a certain manifestation of solar energy, and 
therefore his house or tomb is emblematic of the universe within which he is entombed and upon the 
cross of which he is crucified. 

Through the mystic passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid passed the illumined of 
antiquity. They entered its portals as men; they came forth as gods. It was the place of the "second 
birth," the "womb of the Mysteries," and wisdom dwelt in it as God dwells in the hearts of men. 
Somewhere in the depths of its recesses there resided an unknown being who was called "The 
Initiator," or "The Illustrious One," robed in blue and gold and bearing in his hand the sevenfold key 
of Eternity. This was the lion-faced hierophant, the Holy One, the Master of Masters, who never left 
the House of Wisdom and whom no man ever saw save he who had passed through the gates of 
preparation and purification. It was in these chambers that Plato— he of the broad brow — came face 
to face with the wisdom of the ages personified in the Master of the Hidden House. 

Who was the Master dwelling in the mighty Pyramid, the many rooms of which signified the worlds in 
space; the Master whom none might behold save those who had been "born again"? He alone fully 
knew the secret of the Pyramid, but he has departed the way of the wise and the house is empty. The 
hymns of praise no longer echo in muffled tones through the chambers; the neophyte no longer 
passes through the elements and wanders among the seven stars; the candidate no longer receives the 
"Word of Life" from the lips of the Eternal One. Nothing now remains that the eye of man can see but 
an empty shell— the outer symbol of an inner truth— and men call the House of God a tomb! 

The technique of the Mysteries was unfolded by the Sage Illuminator, the Master of the Secret House. 
The power to know his guardian spirit was revealed to the new initiate; the method of disentangling 

his material body from, his divine vehicle was explained; and to consummate the magnum opus, 
there was revealed the Divine Name—the secret and unutterable designation of the Supreme Deity, by 
the very knowledge of which man and his God are made consciously one. With the giving of the Name, 
the new initiate became himself a pyramid, within the chambers of whose soul numberless other 
human beings might also receive spiritual enlightenment. 

In the King's Chamber was enacted the drama of the "second death." Here the candidate, after being 
crucified upon the cross of the solstices and the equinoxes, was buried in the great coffer. There is a 
profound mystery to the atmosphere and temperature of the King's Chamber: it is of a peculiar 
deathlike cold which cuts to the marrow of the bone. This room was a doorway between the material 
world and the transcendental spheres of Nature. While his body lay in the coffer, the soul of the 
neophyte soared as a human-headed hawk through the celestial realms, there to discover first hand 
the eternity of Life, Light, and Truth, as well as the illusion of Death, Darkness, and Sin. Thus in one 
sense the Great Pyramid may be likened to a gate through which the ancient priests permitted a few 
to pass toward the attainment of individual completion. It is also to be noted incidentally that if the 
coffer in the King's Chamber be struck, the sound emitted has no counterpart in any known musical 
scale. This tonal value may have formed part of that combination of circumstances which rendered 
the King's Chamber an ideal setting for the conferment of the highest degree of the Mysteries. 

The modern world knows little of these ancient rites. The scientist and the theologian alike gaze upon 
the sacred structure, wondering what fundamental urge inspired the herculean labor. If they would 
but think for a moment, they would realize that there is only one urge in the soul of man capable of 
supplying the required incentive—namely, the desire to know, to understand, and to exchange the 
narrowness of human mortality for the greater breadth and scope of divine enlightenment. So men 
say of the Great Pjramid that it is the most perfect building in the world, the source of weights and 
measures, the original Noah's Ark, the origin of languages, alphabets,, and scales of temperature and 
humidity. Few realize, however, that it is the gateway to the Eternal. 

Though the modern world may know a million secrets, the ancient world knew one— and that one was 
greater than the million; for the million secrets breed death, disaster, sorrow, selfishness, lust, and 
avarice, but the one secret confers life, light, and truth. The time will come when the secret wisdom 
shall again be the dominating religious and philosophical urge of the world. The day is at hand when 
the doom of dogma shall be sounded. The great theological Tower of Babel, with its confusion of 
tongues, was built of bricks of mud and the mortar of slime. Out of the cold ashes of lifeless creeds, 
however, shall rise phoenixlike the ancient Mysteries. No other institution has so completely satisfied 
the religious aspirations of humanity, for since the destruction of the Mysteries there never has been a 
religious code to which Plato could have subscribed. The unfolding of man's spiritual nature is as 
much an exact science as astronomy, medicine or jurisprudence. To accomplish this end religions 
were primarily established; and out of religion have come science, philosophy, and logic as methods 
whereby this divine purpose might be realized. 

The Dying God shall rise again! The secret room in the House of the Hidden Places shall be 
rediscovered. The Pyramid again shall stand as the ideal emblem of solidarity, inspiration, aspiration, 
resurrection, and regeneration. As the passing sands of time bury civilization upon civilization 
beneath their weight, the Pyramid shall remain as the Visible covenant between Eternal Wisdom and 
the world. The time may yet come when the chants of the illumined shall be heard once more in its 
ancient passageways and the Master of the Hidden House shall await in the Silent Place for the 
coming of that man who, casting aside the fallacies of dogma and tenet, seeks simply Truth and will 
be satisfied with neither substitute nor counterfeit. 


Isis, the Virgin of the World 

IT is especially fitting that a study of Hermetic symbolism should begin with a discussion of the 
symbols and attributes of the Saitic Isis. This is the Isis of Sais, famous for the inscription concerning 
her which appeared on the front of her temple in that city: "I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or 
shall be; no mortal Man hath ever me unveiled." 

Plutarch affirms that many ancient authors believed this goddess to be the daughter of Hermes; 
others held the opinion that she was the child of Prometheus. Both of these demigods were noted for 
their divine wisdom. It is not improbable that her kinship to them is merely allegorical. Plutarch 
translates the name Isis to mean wisdom. Godfrey Higgins, in his Anacalypsis, derives the name of 
Isis from the Hebrew Iso, and the Greek ^coco, to save. Some authorities, however, for example, 
Richard Payne Knight (as stated in his Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology), believe 
the word to be of Northern extraction, possibly Scandinavian or Gothic. In these languages the name 
is pronounced Isa, meaning ice, or water in its most passive, crystallized, negative state. 

This Egyptian deity under many names appears as the principle of natural fecundity among nearly all 
the religions of the ancient world. She was known as the goddess with ten thousand appellations and 
was metamorphosed by Christianity into the Virgin Mary, for Isis, although she gave birth to all living 
things—chief among them the Sun—still remained a virgin, according to the legendary accounts. 

Apuleius in the eleventh book of The Golden Ass ascribes to the goddess the following statement 

concerning her powers and attributes: "Behold, * *, I, moved by thy prayers, am present with thee; I, 
who am Nature, the parent of things, the queen of all the elements, the primordial progeny of ages, 
the supreme of Divinities, the sovereign of the spirits of the dead, the first of the celestials, and the 
uniform resemblance of Gods and Goddesses. I, who rule by my nod the luminous summits of the 
heavens, the salubrious breezes of the sea, and the deplorable silences of the realms beneath, and 
whose one divinity the whole orb of the earth venerates under a manifold form, by different rites and 
a variety of appellations. Hence the primogenial Phrygians call me Pessinuntica, the mother of the 
Gods, the Attic Aborigines, Cecropian Minerva; the floating Cyprians, Paphian Venus; the arrow- 
bearing Cretans, Diana Dictynna; the three-tongued Sicilians, Stygian Proserpine; and the 
Eleusinians, the ancient Goddess Ceres. Some also call me Juno, others Bellona, others Hecate, and 
others Rhamnusia. And those who are illuminated by the incipient rays of that divinity the Sun, when 
he rises, viz. the Ethiopians, the Arii, and the Egyptians skilled in ancient learning, worshipping me 
by ceremonies perfectly appropriate, call me by my true name. Queen Isis." 

Le Plongeon believes that the Egyptian myth of Isis had a historical basis among the Mayas of Central 
America, where this goddess was known as Queen Moo. In Prince Coh the same author finds a 
correspondence to Osiris, the brother-husband of Isis. Le Plongeon's theory is that Mayan civilization 
was far more ancient than that of Egypt. After the death of Prince Coh, his widow. Queen Moo, fleeing 
to escape the wrath of his murderers, sought refuge among the Mayan colonies in Egypt, where she 
was accepted as their queen and was given the name of Isis. While Le Plongeon may be right, the 
possible historical queen sinks into insignificance when compared with the allegorical, symbolic 
World Virgin; and the fact that she appears among so many different races and peoples discredits the 
theory that she was a historical individual. 

According to Sextus Empyricus, the Trojan war was fought over a statue of the moon goddess. For 
this lunar Helena, and not for a woman, the Greeks and Trojans struggled at the gates of Troy. 

Several authors have attempted to prove that Isis, Osiris, Typhon, Nephthys, and Aroueris (Thoth, or 
Mercury) were grandchildren of the great Jewish patriarch Noah by his son Ham. But as the story of 
Noah and his ark is a cosmic allegory concerning the repopulation of planets at the beginning of each 
world period, this only makes it less likely that they were historical personages. According to Robert 
Fludd, the sun has three properties~/i/e, light, and heat. These three vivify and vitalize the three 
worlds—spiritual, intellectual, and material. Therefore, it is said "from one light, three lights," i. e. the 
first three Master Masons. In all probability, Osiris represents the third, or material, aspect of solar 
activity, which by its beneficent influences vitalizes and enlivens the flora and fauna of the earth. 
Osiris is not the sun, but the sun is symbolic of the vital principle of Nature, which the ancients knew 
as Osiris. His symbol, therefore, was an opened eye, in honor of the Great Eye of the universe, the sun, 
Opposed to the active, radiant principle of impregnating fire, hear, and motion was the passive, 
receptive principle of Nature. 

Modern science has proved that forms ranging in magnitude from solar systems to atoms are 
composed of positive, radiant nuclei surrounded by negative bodies that exist upon the emanations of 
the central life. From this allegory we have the story of Solomon and his wives, for Solomon is the sun 
and his wives and concubines are the planets, moons, asteroids, and other receptive bodies within his 
house—the solar mansion. Isis, represented in the Song of Solomon by the dark maid of Jerusalem, is 
symbolic of receptive Nature— the watery, maternal principle which creates all things out of herself 
after impregnation has been achieved by the virility of the sun. 

In the ancient world the year had 360 days. The five extra days were gathered together by the God of 
Cosmic Intelligence to serve as the birthdays of the five gods and goddesses who are called the sons 
and daughters of Ham. Upon the first of these special days Osiris was born and upon the fourth of 
them Isis. (The number /our shows the relation that this goddess bears to the earth and its elements.) 
Typhon, the Egyptian Demon or Spirit of the Adversary, was born upon the third day. Typhon is often 
symbolized by a crocodile; sometimes his body is a combination of crocodile and hog. Isis stands for 
knowledge and wisdom, and according to Plutarch the word Typhon means insolence and pride. 
Egotism, self-centeredness, and pride are the deadly enemies of understanding and truth. This part of 
the allegory is revealed. 

After Osiris, here symbolized as the sun, had become King of Egypt and had given to his people the 
full advantage of his intellectual light, he continued his path through the heavens, visiting the peoples 
of other nations and converting all with whom he came in contact. Plutarch further asserts that the 
Greeks recognized in Osiris the same person whom they revered under the names of Dionysos and 
Bacchus. While he was away from his country, his brother, Typhon, the Evil One, like the Loki of 
Scandinavia, plotted against the Sun God to destroy him. Gathering seventy-two persons as fellow 
conspirators, he attained his nefarious end in a most subtle manner. He had a wonderful ornamented 
box made just the size of the body of Osiris. This he brought into a banquet hall where the gods and 
goddesses were feasting together. All admired the beautiful chest, and Typhon promised to give it to 
the one whose body fitted it most perfectly. One after another lay down in the box, but in 


From Mosaize Historie der Hebreeuwse Kerke. 

Diodorus writes of a famous inscription carved on a column at Nysa, in Arabia, wherein Isis described herself as follows: 
"I am Isis, Queen of this country. I was instructed by Mercury. No one can destroy the laws which I have established. I am 
the eldest daughter of Saturn, most ancient of the gods. I am the wife and sister of Osiris the King. I first made known to 
mortals the use of wheat. I am the mother of Orus the King. In my honor was the city of Bubaste built. Rejoice, O Egypt, 
rejoice, land that gave me birth!" (See "Morals and Dogma," by Albert Pike.) 

p. 46 

rose again, until at last Osiris also tried. The moment he was in the chest Typhon and his accomplices 

nailed the cover down and sealed the cracks wdth molten lead. They then cast the box into the Nile, 
down which it floated to the sea. Plutarch states that the date upon which this occurred was the 
seventeenth day of the month Athyr, when the sun was in the constellation of Scorpio. This is most 

significant, for the Scorpion is the symbol of treachery. The time when Osiris entered the chest was 
also the same season that Noah entered the ark to escape from the Deluge. 

Plutarch further declares that the Pans and Satyrs (the Nature spirits and elementals) first discovered 
that Osiris had been murdered. These immediately raised an alarm, and from this incident the word 
panic, meaningfright or amazement of the multitudes, originated. Isis, upon receiving the news of 
her husband's murder, which she learned from some children who had seen the murderers making off 
with the box, at once robed herself in mourning and started forth in quest of him. 

At length Isis discovered that the chest had floated to the coast of Byblos. There it had lodged in the 
branches of a tree, which in a short time miraculously grew up around the box. This so amazed the 
king of that country that he ordered the tree to be cut down and a pillar made from its trunk to 
support the roof of his palace. Isis, visiting Byblos, recovered the body of her husband, but it was 
again stolen by Typhon, who cut it into fourteen parts, which he scattered all over the earth. Isis, in 
despair, began gathering up the severed remains of her husband, but found only thirteen pieces. The 
fourteenth part (the phallus) she reproduced in gold, for the original had fallen into the river Nile and 
had been swallowed by a fish. 

Typhon was later slain in battle by the son of Osiris. Some of the Egyptians believed that the souls of 
the gods were taken to heaven, where they shone forth as stars. It was supposed that the soul of Isis 
gleamed from the Dog Star, while Typhon became the constellation of the Bear. It is doubtful, 
however, whether this idea was ever generally accepted. 

Among the Egyptians, Isis is often represented with a headdress consisting of the empty throne chair 
of her murdered husband, and this peculiar structure was accepted during certain dynasties as her 
hieroglyphic. The headdresses of the Egyptians have great symbolic and emblematic importance, for 
they represent the auric bodies of the superhuman intelligences, and are used in the same way that 
the nimbus, halo, and aureole are used in Christian religious art. Frank C. Higgins, a well-known 
Masonic symbolist, has astutely noted that the ornate headgears of certain gods and Pharaohs are 
inclined backward at the same angle as the earth's axis. The robes, insignia, jewels, and 
ornamentations of the ancient hierophants symbolized the spiritual energies radiating from the 
human body. Modern science is rediscovering many of the lost secrets of Hermetic philosophy. One of 
these is the ability to gauge the mental development, the soul qualities, and the physical health of an 
individual from the streamers of semi-visible electric force which pour through the surface of the skin 
of every human being at all times during his life. (For details concerning a scientific process for 
making the auric emanations visible, see The Human Atmosphere by Dr. Walter J. Kilner.) 

Isis is sometimes symbolized by the head of a cow; occasionally the entire animal is her symbol. The 
first gods of the Scandinavians were licked out of blocks of ice by the Mother Cow (Audhumla), who 
symbolized the principle of natural nutriment and fecundity because of her milk. Occasionally Isis is 
represented as a bird. She often carries in one hand the crux ansata, the symbol of eternal life, and in 
the other the flowered scepter, symbolic of her authority. 

Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Egyptian learning, the Wise Man of the ancient world, 
gave to the priests and philosophers of antiquity the secrets which have been preserved to this day in 
myth and legend. These allegories and emblematic figures conceal the secret formulae for spiritual, 
mental, moral, and physical regeneration commonly known as the Mystic Chemistry of the Soul 
(alchemy). These sublime truths were communicated to the initiates of the Mystery Schools, but were 
concealed from the profane. The latter, unable to understand the abstract philosophical tenets, 
worshiped the concrete sculptured idols which were emblematic of these secret truths. The wisdom 
and secreq?^ of Egypt are epitomized in the Sphinx, which has preserved its secret from the seekers of 
a hundred generations. The mysteries of Hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the 
world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers. 

are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the 
tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled 
figure of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality. 

The explanations in these pages of the symbols peculiar to the Virgin Isis are based (unless otherwise 
noted) on selections from a free translation of the fourth book of Biblioteque des Philosophes 
Hermetiques, entitled "The Hermetical Signification of the Symbols and Attributes of Isis," with 
interpolations by the compiler to amplify and clarify the text. 

The statues of Isis were decorated with the sun, moon, and stars, and many emblems pertaining to 
the earth, over which Isis was believed to rule (as the guardian spirit of Nature personified). Several 
images of the goddess have been found upon which the marks of her dignity and position were still 
intact. According to the ancient philosophers, she personified Universal Nature, the mother of all 
productions. The deity was generally represented as a partly nude woman, often pregnant, sometimes 
loosely covered with a garment either of green or black color, or of four different shades intermingled- 
black, white, yellow, and red. 

Apuleius describes her as follows: "In the first place, then, her most copious and long hairs, being 
gradually intorted, and promiscuously scattered on her divine neck, were softly defluous. A multiform 
crown, consisting of various flowers, bound the sublime summit of her head. And in the middle of the 
crown, just on her forehead, there was a smooth orb resembling a mirror, or rather a white refulgent 
light, which indicated that she was the moon. Vipers rising up after the manner of furrows, environed 
the crown on the right hand and on the left, and Cerealian ears of corn were also extended from above. 
Her garment was of many colours, and woven from the finest flax, and was at one time lucid with a 
white splendour, at another yellow from the flower of crocus, and at another flaming with a rosy 
redness. But that which most excessively dazzled my sight, was a very black robe, fulgid with a dark 
splendour, and which, spreading round and passing under her right side, and ascending to her left 
shoulder, there rose protuberant like the center of a shield, the dependent part of the robe falling in 
many folds, and having small knots of fringe, gracefully flowing in its extremities. Glittering stars 
were dispersed through the embroidered border of the robe, and through the whole of its surface: and 
the full moon, shining in the middle of the stars, breathed forth flaming fires. Nevertheless, a crown, 
wholly consisting of flowers and fruits of every kind, adhered with indivisible connexion to the border 
of that conspicuous robe, in all its undulating motions. What she carried in her hands also consisted 
of things of a very different nature. For her right hand, indeed, bore a brazen rattle [sistrum] through 
the narrow lamina of which bent like a belt, certain rods passing, produced a sharp triple sound, 
through the vibrating motion of her arm. An oblong vessel, in the shape of a boat, depended from her 
left hand, on the handle of which, in that part in which it was conspicuous, an asp raised its erect head 
and largely swelling neck. And shoes woven from the leaves of the victorious palm tree covered her 
immortal feet." 

The green color alludes to the vegetation which covers the face of the earth, and therefore represents 
the robe of Nature. The black represents death and corruption as being the way to a new life and 
generation. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John iii. 3.) White, 
yellow, and red signify the three principal colors of the alchemical, Hermetical, universal medicine 
after the blackness of its putrefaction is over. 

The ancients gave the name Isis to one of their occult medicines; therefore the description here given 
relates somewhat to chemistry. Her black drape also signifies that the moon, or the lunar humidity— 
the sophic universal mercury and the operating substance of Nature in alchemical terminology—has 
no light of its own, but receives its light, its fire, and its vitalizing force from the sun. Isis was 


"The sistrum is designed * * * to represent to us, that every thing must be kept in continual agitation, and never cease 
from motion; that they ought to be mused and well-shaken, whenever they begin to grow drowsy as it were, and to droop 
in their motion. For, say they, the sound of these sistra averts and drives away Typho; meaning hereby, that as corruption 
clogs and puts a stop to the regular course of nature; so generation, by the means of motion, loosens it again, and restores 
it to its former vigour. Now the outer surface of this instrument is of a convex figure, as within its circumference are 
contained those four chords or bars [only three shown], which make such a rattling when they are shaken— nor is this 
without its meaning; for that part of the universe which is subject to generation and corruption is contained within the 
sphere of the moon; and whatever motions or changes may happen therein, they are all effected by the different 
combinations of the four elementary bodies, fire, earth, water, and air —moreover, upon the upper part of the convex 
surface of the sistrum is carved the effigies of a cat with a human visage, as on the lower edge of it, under those moving 
chords, is engraved on the one side the face of Isis, and on the other that of Nephthys~by the faces symbolically 
representing generation and corruption (which, as has been already observed, is nothing but the motion and alteration of 
the four elements one amongst another)," 

(From Plutarch's Isis and Osiris.) 


the image or representative of the Great Works of the wise men: the Philosopher's Stone, the Elixir of 
Life, and the Universal Medicine. 

Other hieroglyphics seen in connection with Isis are no less curious than those already described, but 
it is impossible to enumerate all, for many symbols were used interchangeably by the Egyptian 
Hermetists. The goddess often wore upon her head a hat made of cypress branches, to signify 
mourning for her dead husband and also for the physical death which she caused every creature to 
undergo in order to receive a new life in posterity or a periodic resurrection. The head of Isis is 
sometimes ornamented with a crown of gold or a garland of olive leaves, as conspicuous marks of her 
sovereignty as queen of the world and mistress of the entire universe. The crown of gold signifies also 
the aurific unctuosity or sulphurous fatness of the solar and vital fires which she dispenses to every 
individual by a continual circulation of the elements, this circulation being symbolized by the musical 
rattle which she carries in her hand. This sistrum is also the yonic symbol of purity. 

A serpent interwoven among the olive leaves on her head, devouring its own tail, denotes that the 
aurific unctuosity was soiled with the venom of terrestrial corruption which surrounded it and must 
be mortified and purified by seven planetary circulations or purifications called/Zi/mg^ eagles 
(alchemical terminology) in order to make it medicinal for the restoration of health. (Here the 
emanations from the sun are recognized as a medicine for the healing of human ills.) The seven 

planetary circulations are represented by the circumambulations of the Masonic lodge; by the 

marching of the Jewish priests seven times around the walls of Jericho, and of the Mohammedan 
priests seven times around the Kabba at Mecca. From the crown of gold project three horns of plenty, 
signifying the abundance of the gifts of Nature proceeding from one root having its origin in the 
heavens (head of Isis). 

In this figure the pagan naturalists represent all the vital powers of the three kingdoms and families 
of sublunary nature-mineral, plant, and animal (man considered as an animal). At one of her ears was 
the moon and at the other the sun, to indicate that these two were the agent and patient, or father and 
mother principles of all natural objects; and that Isis, or Nature, makes use of these two luminaries to 
communicate her powers to the whole empire of animals, vegetables, and minerals. On the back of 
her neck were the characters of the planets and the signs of the zodiac which assisted the planets in 
their functions. This signified that the heavenly influences directed the destinies of the principles and 
sperms of all things, because they were the governors of all sublunary bodies, which they transformed 
into little worlds made in the image of the greater universe. 

Isis holds in her right hand a small sailing ship with the spindle of a spinning wheel for its mast. From 
the top of the mast projects a water jug, its handle shaped like a serpent swelled with venom. This 
indicates that Isis steers the bark of life, full of troubles and miseries, on the stormy ocean of Time. 
The spindle symbolizes the fact that she spins and cuts the thread of Life. These emblems further 
signify that Isis abounds in humidity, by means of which she nourishes all natural bodies, preserving 
them from the heat of the sun by humidifying them with nutritious moisture from the atmosphere. 
Moisture supports vegetation, but this subtle humidity (life ether) is always more or less infected by 
some venom proceeding from corruption or decay. It must be purified by being brought into contact 
with the invisible cleansing fire of Nature. This fire digests, perfects, and revitalizes this substance, in 
order that the humidity may become a universal medicine to heal and renew all the bodies in Nature. 

The serpent throws off its skin annually and is thereby renewed (symbolic of the resurrection of the 
spiritual life from the material nature). This renewal of the earth takes place every spring, when the 
vivifying spirit of the sun returns to the countries of the Northern Hemisphere, 

The symbolic Virgin carries in her left hand a sistrum and a cymbal, or square frame of metal, which 
when struck gives the key-note of Nature (Fa); sometimes also an olive branch, to indicate the 
harmony she preserves among natural things with her regenerating power. By the processes of death 
and corruption she gives life to a number of creatures of diverse forms through periods of perpetual 
change. The cymbal is made square instead of the usual triangular shape in order to symbolize that all 
things are transmuted and regenerated according to the harmony of the four elements. 

Dr. Sigismund Bacstrom believed that if a physician could establish harmony among the elements of 
earth, fire, air, and water, and unite them into a stone (the Philosopher's Stone) symbolized by the 
six-pointed star or two interlaced triangles, he would possess the means of healing all disease. Dr. 
Bacstrom further stated that there was no doubt in his mind that the universal, omnipresent fire 
(spirit) of Nature: "does all and is all in all." By attraction, repulsion, motion, heat, sublimation, 
evaporation, exsiccation, inspissation, coagulation, and fixation, the Universal Fire (Spirit) 
manipulates matter, and manifests throughout creation. Any individual who can understand these 
principles and adapt them to the three departments of Nature becomes a true philosopher. 

From the right breast of Isis protruded a bunch of grapes and from, the left an ear of corn or a sheaf 
of wheat, golden in color. These indicate that Nature is the source of nutrition for plant, animal, and 
human life, nourishing all things from herself. The golden color in the wheat (corn) indicates that in 
the sunlight or spiritual gold is concealed the first sperm of all life. 

On the girdle surrounding the upper part of the body of the statue appear a number of mysterious 
emblems. The girdle is joined together in front by four golden plates (the elements), placed in the 
form of a square. This signified that Isis, or Nature, the first matter (alchemical terminology), was the 
essence- of the four elements (life, light, heat, and force), which quintessence generated all things. 
Numerous stars are represented on this girdle, thereby indicating their influence in darkness as well 
as the influence of the sun in light. Isis is the Virgin immortalized in the constellation of Virgo, where 
the World Mother is placed with the serpent under her feet and a crown, of stars on her head. In her 
arms she carries a sheaf of grain and sometimes the young Sun God. 

The statue of Isis was placed on a pedestal of dark stone ornamented with rams' heads. Her feet trod 
upon a number of venomous reptiles. This indicates that Nature has power to free from acidity or 
saltness all corrosives and to overcome all impurities from terrestrial corruption adhering to bodies. 
The rams' heads indicate that the most auspicious time for the generation of life is during the period 
when the sun passes through the sign of Aries. The serpents under her feet indicate that Nature is 
inclined to preserve life and to heal disease by expelling impurities and corruption. 

In this sense the axioms known to the ancient philosophers are verified; namely: 

Nature contains Nature, 

Nature rejoices in her own nature, 

Nature surmounts Nature; 

Nature cannot be amended but in her own nature. 

Therefore, in contemplating the statue of Isis, we must not lose sight of the occult sense of its 
allegories; otherwise, the Virgin remains an inexplicable enigma. 

From a golden ring on her left arm a line descends, to the end of which is suspended a deep box filled 
with flaming coals and incense. Isis, or Nature personified, carries with her the sacred fire, religiously 
preserved and kept burning in. a special temple by the vestal virgins. This fire is the genuine, 
immortal flame of Nature—ethereal, essential, the author of life. The inconsumable oil; the balsam of 
life, so much praised by the wise and so often referred to in the Scriptures, is frequently symbolized as 
the fuel of this immortal flame. 

From the right arm of the figure also descends a thread, to the end of which is fastened a pair of scales, 
to denote the exactitude of Nature in her weights and measures. Isis is often represented as the 
symbol of justice, because Nature is eternally consistent. 


From Lenoir's La Franche-Maconnerie. 

Aroueris, or Thoth, one of the five immortals, protected the infant Horus from the wrath of Typhon after the murder of 
Osiris. He also revised the ancient Egyptian calendar by increasing the year from 360 days to 365. Thoth Hermes was 
called "The Dog-Headed" because of his faithfulness and integrity. He is shown crowned with a solar nimbus, carrying in 
one hand the Crux Ansata, the symbol of eternal life, and in the other a serpent- wound staff symbolic of his dignity as 
counselor of the gods. 

Isis is shown with her son Horus in her arms. She is crowned with the lunar orb, ornamented with the horns of rams or 
bulls. Orus, or Horus as he is more generally known, was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was the god of time, hours, days, 
and this narrow span of life recognized as mortal existence. In all probability, the four sons of Horus represent the four 
kingdoms of Nature. It was Horus who finally avenged the murder of his father, Osiris, by slaying Typhon, the spirit of 


From Lenoir's La Franche-Maconnerie. 

p. 48 

The World Virgin is sometimes shown standing between two great pillars—the Jachin and Boaz of 

Freemasonry~symbolizing the fact that Nature attains productivity by means of polarity. As wisdom 
personified, Isis stands between the pillars of opposites, demonstrating that understanding is always 
found at the point of equilibrium and that truth is often crucified between the two thieves of apparent 

The sheen of gold in her dark hair indicates that while she is lunar, her power is due to the sun's rays, 
from which she secures her ruddy complexion. As the moon is robed in the reflected light of the sun, 
so Isis, like the virgin of Revelation, is clothed in the glory of solar luminosity. Apuleius states that 
while he was sleeping he beheld the venerable goddess Isis rising out of the ocean. The ancients 
realized that the primary forms of life first came out of water, and modem science concurs in this view. 
H. G. Wells, in his Outline of History, describing primitive life on the earth, states: "But though the 
ocean and intertidal water already swarmed with life, the land above the high-tide line was still, so far 
as we can guess, a stony wilderness without a trace of life." In the next chapter he adds: "Wherever 
the shore-line ran there was life, and that life went on in and by and with water as its home, its 
medium, and its fundamental necessity." The ancients believed that the universal sperm proceeded 
from warm vapor, humid but fiery. The veiled Isis, whose very coverings represent vapor, is symbolic 
of this humidity, which is the carrier or vehicle for the sperm life of the sun, represented by a child in 
her arms. Because the sun, moon, and stars in setting appear to sink into the sea and also because the 
water receives their rays into itself, the sea was believed to be the breeding ground for the sperm of 
living things. This sperm is generated from the combination of the influences of the celestial bodies; 
hence Isis is sometimes represented as pregnant. 

Frequently the statue of Isis was accompanied by the figure of a large black and white ox. The ox 
represents either Osiris as Taurus, the bull of the zodiac, or Apis, an animal sacred to Osiris because 
of its peculiar markings and colorings. Among the Egyptians, the bull was a beast of burden. Hence 
the presence of the animal was a reminder of the labors patiently performed by Nature that all 
creatures may have life and health. Harpocrates, the God of Silence, holding his lingers to his mouth, 
often accompanies the statue of Isis. He warns all to keep the secrets of the wise from those unfit to 
know them. 

The Druids of Britain and Gaul had a deep knowledge concerning the mysteries of Isis and worshiped 
her under the symbol of the moon. Godfrey Higgins considers it a mistake to regard Isis as 
synonymous with the moon. The moon was chosen for Isis because of its dominion over water. The 
Druids considered the sun to be the father and the moon the mother of all things. By means of these 
symbols they worshiped Universal Nature. 

The figure of Isis is sometimes used to represent the occult and magical arts, such as necromancy, 
invocation, sorcery, and thaumaturgy. In one of the myths concerning her, Isis is said to have 
conjured the invincible God of Eternities, Ra, to tell her his secret and sacred name, which he did. 
This name is equivalent to the Lost Word of Masonry. By means of this Word, a magician can demand 
obedience from the invisible and superior deities. The priests of Isis became adepts in the use of the 
unseen forces of Nature. They understood hypnotism, mesmerism, and similar practices long before 
the modem world dreamed of their existence. 

Plutarch describes the requisites of a follower of Isis in this manner: "For as 'tis not the length of the 
beard, or the coarseness of the habit which makes a philosopher, so neither will those frequent 
shavings, or the mere wearing [of] a linen vestment constitute a votary of Isis; but he alone is a true 
servant or follower of this Goddess, who after he has heard, and been made acquainted in a proper 
manner with the history of the actions of these Gods, searches into the hidden truths which he 
concealed under them, and examines the whole by the dictates of reason and philosophy." 

During the Middle Ages the troubadours of Central Europe preserved in song the legends of this 

Egyptian goddess. They composed sonnets to the most beautiful woman in all the world. Though few 
ever discovered her identity, she was Sophia, the Virgin of Wisdom, whom all the philosophers of the 
world have wooed. Isis represents the mystery of motherhood, which the ancients recognized as the 
most apparent proof of Nature's omniscient wisdom and God's overshadowing power. To the modem 
seeker she is the epitome of the Great Unknown, and only those who unveil her will be able to solve 
the mysteries of life, death, generation, and regeneration. 


Servius, commenting on Virgil's ^nezd, observes that "the wise Egyptians took care to embalm their 
bodies, and deposit them in catacombs, in order that the soul might be preserved for a long time in 
connection with the body, and might not soon be alienated; while the Romans, with an opposite 
design, committed the remains of their dead to the funeral pile, intending that the vital spark might 
immediately be restored to the general element, or return to its pristine nature." (From Prichard's An 
Analysis of the Egyptian Mythology.) 

No complete records are available which give the secret doctrine of the Egyptians concerning the 
relationship existing between the spirit, or consciousness, and the body which it inhabited. It is 
reasonably certain, however, that Pythagoras, who had been initiated in the Egyptian temples, when 
he promulgated the doctrine of metempsychosis, restated, in part at least, the teachings of the 
Egyptian initiates. The popular supposition that the Egyptians mummified their dead in order to 
preserve the form for a physical resurrection is untenable in the light of modern knowledge regarding 
their philosophy of death. In the fourth book of On Abstinence from Animal Food, Porphyry 
describes an Egyptian custom of purifying the dead by removing the contents of the abdominal cavity, 
which they placed in a separate chest. He then reproduces the following oration which had been 
translated out of the Egyptian tongue by Euphantus: "O sovereign Sun, and all ye Gods who impart 
life to men, receive me, and deliver me to the eternal Gods as a cohabitant. For I have always piously 
worshipped those divinities which were pointed out to me by my parents as long as I lived in this age, 
and have likewise always honored those who procreated my body. And, with respect to other men, I 
have never slain any one, nor defrauded any one of what he deposited with me, nor have I committed 
any other atrocious deed. If, therefore, during my life I have acted erroneously, by eating or drinking 
things which it is unlawful to cat or drink, I have not erred through myself, but through these" 
(pointing to the chest which contained the viscera). The removal of the organs identified as the seat of 
the appetites was considered equivalent to the purification of the body from their evil influences. 

So literally did the early Christians interpret their Scriptures that they preserved the bodies of their 
dead by pickling them in salt water, so that on the day of resurrection the spirit of the dead might 
reenter a complete and perfectly preserved body. Believing that the incisions necessary to the 
embalming process and the removal of the internal organs would prevent the return of the spirit to its 
body, the Christians buried their dead without resorting to the more elaborate mummification 
methods employed by the Egyptian morticians. 

In his work on Egyptian Magic, S.S.D.D. hazards the following speculation concerning the esoteric 
purposes behind the practice of mummification. "There is every reason to suppose," he says, "that 
only those who had received some grade of initiation were mummified; for it is certain that, in the 
eyes of the Egyptians, mummification effectually prevented reincarnation. Reincarnation was 
necessary to imperfect souls, to those who had failed to pass the tests of initiation; but for those who 
had the Will and the capacity to enter the Secret Adytum, there was seldom necessity for that 
liberation of the soul which is said to be effected by the destruction of the body. The body of the 
Initiate was therefore preserved after death as a species of Talisman or material basis for the 
manifestation of the Soul upon earth." 

During the period of its inception mummification was limited to the Pharaoh and such other persons 
of royal rank as presumably partook of the attributes of the great Osiris, the divine, mummified King 
of the Egyptian Underworld. 


Osiris is often represented with the lower par, of his body enclosed in a mummy case or wrapped about with funeral 
bandages. Man's spirit consists of three distinct parts, only one of which incarnates in physical form. The human body was 
considered to be a tomb or sepulcher of this incarnating spirit. Therefore Osiris, a symbol of the incarnating ego, was 
represented with the lower half of his body mummified to indicate that he was the living spirit of man enclosed within the 
material form symbolized by the mummy case. 

There is a romance between the active principle of God and the passive principle of Nature. From the union of these two 
principles is produced the rational creation. Man is a composite creature. From his Father (the active principle) he 
inherits his Divine Spirit, the fire of aspiration—that immortal part of himself which rises triumphant from the broken clay 
of mortality: that part which remains after the natural organisms have disintegrated or have been regenerated. From his 
Mother (the passive principle) he inherits his body—that part over which the laws of Nature have control: his humanity, 
his mortal personality, his appetites, his feelings, and his emotions. The Egyptians also believed that Osiris was the river 
Nile and that Isis (his sister-wife) was the contiguous land, which, when inundated by the river, bore fruit and harvest. 
The murky water of the Nile were believed to account for the blackness of Osiris, who was generally symbolized as being of 
ebony hue. 


The Sun, A Universal Deity 

THE adoration of the sun was one of the earhest and most natural forms of rehgious expression. 
Complex modern theologies are merely involvements and amplifications of this simple aboriginal 
belief. The primitive mind, recognizing the beneficent power of the solar orb, adored it as the proxy of 
the Supreme Deity. Concerning the origin of sun worship, Albert Pike makes the following concise 
statement in his Morals and Dogma: "To them [aboriginal peoples] he [the sun] was the innate fire of 
bodies, the fire of Nature. Author of Life, heat, and ignition, he was to them the efficient cause of all 
generation, for without him there was no movement, no existence, no form. He was to them immense, 
indivisible, imperishable, and everywhere present. It was their need of light, and of his creative 
energy, that was felt by all men; and nothing was more fearful to them than his absence. His 
beneficent influences caused his identification with the Principle of Good; and the BRAHMA of the 
Hindus, and MITHRAS of the Persians, and ATHOM, AMUN, PHTHA, and OSIRIS, of the Egyptians, 
the BEL of the Chaldeans, the ADONAI of the Phoenicians, the ADONIS and APOLLO of the Greeks, 
became but personifications of the Sun, the regenerating Principle, image of that fecundity which 
perpetuates and rejuvenates the world's existence." 

Among all the nations of antiquity, altars, mounds, and temples were dedicated to the worship of the 
orb of day. The ruins of these sacred places yet remain, notable among them being the pyramids of 
Yucatan and Egypt, the snake mounds of the American Indians, the Zikkurats of Babylon and Chaldea, 
the round towers of Ireland, and the massive rings of uncut stone in Britain and Normandy. The 
Tower of Babel, which, according to the Scriptures, was built so that man might reach up to God, was 
probably an astronomical observatory. 

Many early priests and prophets, both pagan and Christian, were versed in astronomy and astrology; 
their writings are best understood when read in the light of these ancient sciences. With the growth of 
man's knowledge of the constitution and periodicity of the heavenly bodies, astronomical principles 
and terminology were introduced into his religious systems. The tutelary gods were given planetary 
thrones, the celestial bodies being named after the deities assigned to them. The fixed stars were 
divided into constellations, and through these constellations wandered the sun and its planets, the 
latter with their accompanying satellites. 


The sun, as supreme among the celestial bodies visible to the astronomers of antiquity, was assigned 
to the highest of the gods and became symbolic of the supreme authority of the Creator Himself. 
From a deep philosophic consideration of the powers and principles of the sun has come the concept 
of the Trinity as it is understood in the world today. The tenet of a Triune Divinity is not peculiar to 
Christian or Mosaic theology, but forms a conspicuous part of the dogma of the greatest religions of 
both ancient and modern times. The Persians, Hindus, Babylonians, and Egyptians had their Trinities. 
In every instance these represented the threefold form of one Supreme Intelligence. In modern 
Masonry, the Deity is symbolized by an equilateral triangle, its three sides representing the primary 
manifestations of the Eternal One who is Himself represented as a tiny flame, called by the Hebrews 
Yod ('). Jakob Bohme, the Teutonic mystic, calls the Trinity The Three Witnesses, by means of which 
the Invisible is made known to the visible, tangible universe. 

The origin of the Trinity is obvious to anyone who will observe the daily manifestations of the sun. 
This orb, being the symbol of all Light, has three distinct phases: rising, midday, and setting. The 
philosophers therefore divided the life of all things into three distinct parts: growth, maturity, and 
decay. Between the twilight of dawn and the twilight of evening is the high noon of resplendent glory. 

God the Father, the Creator of the world, is symboHzed by the dawn. His color is blue, because the sun 
rising in the morning is veiled in blue mist. God the Son he Illuminating One sent to bear witness of 
His Father before all the worlds, is the celestial globe at noonday, radiant and magnificent, the maned 
Lion of Judah, the Golden-haired Savior of the World. Yellow is His color and His power is without 
end. God the Holy Ghost is the sunset phase, when the orb of day, robed in flaming red, rests for a 
moment upon the horizon line and then vanishes into the darkness of the night to wandering the 
lower worlds and later rise again triumphant from the embrace of darkness. 

To the Egyptians the sun was the symbol of immortality, for, while it died each night, it rose again 
with each ensuing dawn. Not only has the sun this diurnal activity, but it also has its annual 
pilgrimage, during which time it passes successively through the twelve celestial houses of the 
heavens, remaining in each for thirty days. Added to these it has a third path of travel, which is called 
the precession of the equinoxes, in which it retrogrades around the zodiac through the twelve signs at 
the rate of one degree every seventy-two years. 

Concerning the annual passage of the sun through the twelve houses of the heavens, Robert Hewitt 
Brown, 32°, makes the following statement: "The Sun, as he pursued his way among these 'living 
creatures' of the zodiac, was said, in allegorical language, either to assume the nature of or to triumph 
over the sign he entered. The sun thus became a Bull in Taurus, and was worshipped as such by the 
Egyptians under the name of Apis, and by the Assyrians as Bel, Baal, or Bui. In Leo the sun became a 
Lion-slayer, Hercules, and an Archer in Sagittarius. In Pisces, the Fishes, he was a fish—Dagon, or 
Vishnu, the fish-god of the Philistines and Hindoos." 

A careful analysis of the religious systems of pagandom uncovers much evidence of the fact that its 
priests served the solar energy and that their Supreme Deity was in every case this Divine Light 
personified. Godfrey Higgins, after thirty years of inquiry into the origin of religious beliefs, is of the 
opinion that "All the Gods of antiquity resolved themselves into the solar fire, sometimes itself as God, 
or sometimes an emblem or shekinah of that higher principle, known by the name of the creative 
Being or God." 

The Egyptian priests in many of their ceremonies wore the skins of lions, which were symbols of the 
solar orb, owing to the fact that the sun is exalted, dignified, and most fortunately placed in the 
constellation of Leo, which he rules and which was at one time the keystone of the celestial arch. 
Again, Hercules is the Solar Deity, for as this mighty hunter performed his twelve labors, so the sun, 
in traversing the twelve houses of the zodiacal band, performs during his pilgrimage twelve essential 
and benevolent labors for the human race and for Nature in general, Hercules, like the Egyptian 
priests, wore the skin of a lion for a girdle. Samson, the Hebrew hero, as his 


From Maurice 's Indian Antiquities. 

The sun rising over the back of the hon or, astrologically, in the back of the hon, has always been considered symbohc of 
power and rulership. A symbol very similar to the one above appears on the flag of Persia, whose people have always been 
sun worshipers. Kings and emperors have frequently associated their terrestrial power with the celestial Power of the solar 
orb, and have accepted the sun, or one of its symbolic beasts or birds, as their emblem. Witness the lion of the Great 
Mogul and the eagles of Caesar and Napoleon. 


From Maurice 's Indian Antiquities. 

This symbol, which appears over the Pylons or gates of many Egyptian palaces and temples, is emblematic of the three 
persons of the Egyptian Trinity. The wings, the serpents, and the solar orb are the insignia of Ammon, Ra, and Osiris. 

p- 50 

name implies, is also a solar deity. His fight with the Nubian lion, his battles with the Philistines, who 
represent the Powers of Darkness, and his memorable feat of carrying off the gates of Gaza, all refer 
to aspects of solar activity. Many of the ancient peoples had more than one solar deity; in fact, all of 
the gods and goddesses were supposed to partake, in part at least, of the sun's effulgence. 

The golden ornaments used by the priestcraft of the various world religions are again a subtle 
reference to the solar energy, as are also the crowns of kings. In ancient times, crowns had a number 
of points extending outward like the rays of the sun, but modern conventionalism has, in many cases, 
either removed the points or else bent: them inward, gathered them together, and placed an orb or 
cross upon the point where they meet. Many of the ancient prophets, philosophers, and dignitaries 
carried a scepter, the upper end of which bore a representation of the solar globe surrounded by 
emanating rays. All the kingdoms of earth were but copies of the kingdoms of Heaven, and the 
kingdoms of Heaven were best symbolized by the solar kingdom, in which the sun was the supreme 
ruler, the planets his privy council, and all Nature the subjects of his empire. 

Many deities have been associated with the sun. The Greeks believed that Apollo, Bacchus, Dionysos, 
Sabazius, Hercules, Jason, Ulysses, Zeus, Uranus, and Vulcan partook of either the visible or invisible 
attributes of the sun. The Norwegians regarded Balder the Beautiful as a solar deity, and Odin is often 
connected with the celestial orb, especially because of his one eye. Among the Egyptians, Osiris, Ra, 
Anubis, Hermes, and even the mysterious Ammon himself had points of resemblance with the solar 
disc. Isis was the mother of the sun, and even Typhon, the Destroyer, was supposed to be a form of 
solar energy. The Egyptian sun myth finally centered around the person of a mysterious deity called 
Serapis. The two Central American deities, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, while often associated 
with the winds, were also undoubtedly solar gods. 

In Masonry the sun has many symbols. One expression of the solar energy is Solomon, whose name 
SOL-OM-ON is the name for the Supreme Light in three different languages. Hiram Abiff, the 
CHiram (Hiram) of the Chaldees, is also a solar deity, and the story of his attack and murder by the 
Ruffians, with its solar interpretation, will be found in the chapter The Hiramic Legend. A striking 
example of the important part which the sun plays in the symbols and rituals of Freemasonry is given 
by George Oliver, D.D., in his Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry, as follows: 

"The sun rises in the east, and in the east is the place for the Worshipful Master. As the sun is the 
source of all light and warmth, so should the Worshipful Master enliven and warm the brethren to 
their work. Among the ancient Egyptians the sun was the symbol of divine providence." The 
hierophants of the Mysteries were adorned with many, insignia emblematic of solar power. The 
sunbursts of gilt embroidery on the back of the vestments of the Catholic priesthood signify that the 
priest is also an emissary and representative of Sol Invictus. 


For reasons which they doubtless considered sufficient, those who chronicled the life and acts of 
Jesus found it advisable to metamorphose him into a solar deity. The historical Jesus was forgotten; 
nearly all the salient incidents recorded in the four Gospels have their correlations in the movements, 
phases, or functions of the heavenly bodies. 

Among other allegories borrowed by Christianity from pagan antiquity is the story of the beautiful, 
blue-eyed Sun God, with His golden hair falling upon His shoulders, robed from head to foot in 
spotless white and carrying in His arms the Lamb of God, symbolic of the vernal equinox. This 
handsome youth is a composite of Apollo, Osiris, Orpheus, Mithras, and Bacchus, for He has certain 
characteristics in common with each of these pagan deities. 

The philosophers of Greece and Egypt divided the life of the sun during the year into four parts; 
therefore they symbolized the Solar Man by four different figures. When He was born in the winter 
solstice, the Sun God was symbolized as a dependent infant who in some mysterious manner had 
managed to escape the Powers of Darkness seeking to destroy Him while He was still in the cradle of 
winter. The sun, being weak at this season of the year, had no golden rays (or locks of hair), but the 
survival of the light through the darkness of winter was symbolized by one tiny hair which alone 

adorned the head of the Celestial Child. (As the birth of the sun took place in Capricorn, it was often 
represented as being suckled by a goat.) 

At the vernal equinox, the sun had grown to be a beautiful youth. His golden hair hung in ringlets on 
his shoulders and his light, as Schiller said, extended to all parts of infinity. At the summer solstice, 
the sun became a strong man, heavily bearded, who, in the prime of maturity, symbolized the fact 
that Nature at this period of the year is strongest and most fecund. At the autumnal equinox, the sun 
was pictured as an aged man, shuffling along with bended back and whitened locks into the oblivion 
of winter darkness. Thus, twelve months were assigned to the sun as the length of its life. During this 
period it circled the twelve signs of the zodiac in a magnificent triumphal march. When fall came, it 
entered, like Samson, into the house of Delilah (Virgo), where its rays were cut off and it lost its 
strength. In Masonry, the cruel winter months are symbolized by three murderers who sought to 
destroy the God of Light and Truth. 

The coming of the sun was hailed with joy; the time of its departure was viewed as a period to be set 
aside for sorrow and unhappiness. This glorious, radiant orb of day, the true light "which lighteth 
every man who cometh into the world," the supreme benefactor, who raised all things from the dead, 
who fed the hungry multitudes, who stilled the tempest, who after dying rose again and restored all 
things to life—this Supreme Spirit of humanitarianism and philanthropy is known to Christendom as 
Christ, the Redeemer of worlds, the Only Begotten of The Father, the Word made Flesh, and the Hope 
of Glory. 


The pagans set aside the 25th of December as the birthday of the Solar Man. They rejoiced, feasted, 
gathered in processions, and made offerings in the temples. The darkness of winter was over and the 
glorious son of light was returning to the Northern Hemisphere. With his last effort the old Sun God 
had torn down the house of the Philistines (the Spirits of Darkness) and had cleared the way for the 
new sun who was born that day from the depths of the earth amidst the symbolic beasts of the lower 

Concerning this season of celebration, an anonymous Master of Arts of Balliol College, Oxford, in his 
scholarly treatise. Mankind Their Origin and Destiny, says: "The Romans also had their solar festival, 
and their games of the circus in honor of the birth of the god of day. It took place the eighth day 
before the kalends of January—that is, on December 25. Servius, in his commentary on verse 720 of 
the seventh book of the ^neid, in which Virgil speaks of the new sun, says that, properly speaking, 
the sun is new on the 8th of the Kalends of January-that is, December 25. In the time of Leo I. (Leo, 
Serm. xxi., De Nativ. Dom. p. 148), some of the Fathers of the Church said that 'what rendered the 
festival (of Christmas) venerable was less the birth of Jesus Christ than the return, and, as they 
expressed it, the new birth of the sun.' It was on the same day that the birth of the Invincible Sun 
(Natalis solis invicti), was celebrated at Rome, as can be seen in the Roman calendars, published in 
the reign of Constantine and of Julian (Hymn to the Sun, p. 155). This epithet Tnvictus' is the same as 
the Persians gave to this same god, whom they worshipped by the name of Mithra, and whom they 
caused to be born in a grotto (Justin. Dial, cum Trips, p. 305), just as he is represented as being bom 
in a stable, under the name of Christ, by the Christians." 

Concerning the Catholic Feast of the Assumption and its parallel in astronomy, the same author adds: 
"At the end of eight months, when the sun-god, having increased, traverses the eighth sign, he 
absorbs the celestial Virgin in his fiery course, and she disappears in the midst of the luminous rays 
and the glory of her son. This phenomenon, which takes place every year about the middle of August, 
gave rise to a festival which still exists, and in which it is supposed that the mother of Christ, laying 
aside her earthly life, is associated with the glory of her son, and is placed at his side in the heavens. 
The Roman calendar of Columella (Col. 1. II. cap. ii. p. 429) marks the death or disappearance of 

Virgo at this period. The sun, he says, passes into Virgo on the thirteenth day before the kalends of 
September. This is where the Cathohcs place the Feast of the Assumption, or the reunion of the Virgin 
to her Son. This feast 


From Lilly's Astrological Predictions for 1648, 1649, and 1650.) 

The following description of this phenomenon appears in a letter written by Jeremiah Shakerley in Lancashire, March 4th, 
i648:~"On Monday the 28th of February last, there arose with the Sun two Parelii, on either side one; their distance from 
him was by estimation, about ten degrees; they continued still of the same distance from the Zenith, or height above the 
Horizon, that the Sun did; and from the parts averse to the Sun, there seemed to issue out certain bright rays, not unlike 
those which the Sun sendeth from behind a cloud, but brighter. The parts of these Parelii which were toward the Sun, 
were of a mixt colour, wherein green and red were most predominant. A little above them was a thin rainbow, scarcely 
discernible, of a bright colour, with the concave towards the Sun, and the ends thereof seeming to touch the Parelii: Above 
that, in a clear diaphanous ayr, [air], appeared another conspicuous Rainbow, beautified with divers colours; it was as 
neer as I could discern to the Zenith; it seemed of something a lesser radius than the other, they being back to back, yet a 
pretty way between. At or neer the apparent time of the full Moon, they vanished, leaving abundance of terror and 
amazement in those that saw them. (See William Lilly.) 

p- 51 

was formerly called the feast of the Passage of the Virgin (Beausobre, tome i. p. 350); and in the 
Library of the Fathers (Bibl. Part. vol. II. part ii. p. 212) we have an account of the Passage of the 
Blessed Virgin. The ancient Greeks and Romans fix the assumption of Astraea, who is also this same 
Virgin, on that day." 

This Virgin mother, giving birth to the Sun God which Christianity has so faithfully preserved, is a 
reminder of the inscription concerning her Egyptian prototype, Isis, which appeared on the Temple of 
Sais: "The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun." While the Virgin was associated with the 
moon by the early pagans, there is no doubt that they also understood her position as a constellation 
in the heavens, for nearly all the peoples of antiquity credit her as being the mother of the sun, and 
they realized that although the moon could not occupy that position, the sign of Virgo could, and did, 
give birth to the sun out of her side on the 25th day of December. Albertus Magnus states, "We know 
that the sign of the Celestial Virgin rose over the Horizon at the moment at which we fix the birth of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Among certain of the Arabian and Persian astronomers the three stars forming the sword belt of 
Orion were called the Magi who came to pay homage to the young Sun God. The author of Mankind— 
Their Origin and Destiny contributes the following additional information: "In Cancer, which had 
risen to the meridian at midnight, is the constellation of the Stable and of the Ass. The ancients called 
it Prgesepe Jovis. In the north the stars of the Bear are seen, called by the Arabians Martha and Mary, 
and also the coffin of Lazarus. "Thus the esotericism of pagandom was embodied in Christianity, 

although its keys are lost. The Christian church blindly follows ancient customs, and when asked for a 
reason gives superficial and unsatisfactory explanations, either forgetting or ignoring the indisputable 
fact that each religion is based upon the secret doctrines of its predecessor. 


The solar orb, like the nature of man, was divided by the ancient sages into three separate bodies. 
According to the mystics, there are three suns in each solar system, analogous to the three centers of 
life in each individual constitution. These are called three lights: the spiritual sun, the intellectual or 
soular sun, and the material sun (now symbolized in Freemasonry by three candles). The spiritual 
sun manifests the power of God the Father; the soular sun radiates the life of God the Son; and the 
material sun is the vehicle of manifestation for God the Holy Spirit. Man's nature was divided by the 
mystics into three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body. His physical body was unfolded and vitalized 
by the material sun; his spiritual nature was illuminated by the spiritual sun; and his intellectual 
nature was redeemed by the true light of grace— the soular sun. The alignment of these three globes 
in the heavens was one explanation offered for the peculiar fact that the orbits of the planets are not 
circular but elliptical. 

The pagan priests always considered the solar system as a Grand Man, and drew their analogy of 
these three centers of activity from the three main centers of life in the human body: the brain, the 
heart, and the generative system. The Transfiguration of Jesus describes three tabernacles, the largest 
being in the center (the heart), and a smaller one on either side (the brain and the generative system). 
It is possible that the philosophical hypothesis of the existence of the three suns is based upon a 
peculiar natural phenomenon which has occurred many times in history. In the fifty- first year after 
Christ three suns were seen at once in the sky and also in the sixty-sixth year. In the sixty-ninth year, 
two suns were seen together. According to William Lilly, between the years 1156 and 1648 twenty 
similar occurrences were recorded. 

Recognizing the sun as the supreme benefactor of the material world, Hermetists believed that there 
was a spiritual sun which ministered to the needs of the invisible and divine part of Nature—human 
and universal. Anent this subject, the great Paracelsus wrote: "There is an earthly sun, which is the 
cause of all heat, and all who are able to see may see the sun; and those who are blind and cannot see 
him may feel his heat. There is an Eternal Sun, which is the source of all wisdom, and those whose 
spiritual senses have awakened to life will see that sun and be conscious of His existence; but those 
who have not attained spiritual consciousness may yet feel His power by an inner faculty which is 
called Intuition." 

Certain Rosicrucian scholars have given special appellations to these three phases of the sun: the 
spiritual sun they called Vulcan; the soular and intellectual sun, Christ and Lucifer respectively; and 
the material sun, the Jewish Demiurgus Jehovah. Lucifer here represents the intellectual mind 
without the illumination of the spiritual mind; therefore it is "the false light. " The false light is finally 
overcome and redeemed by the true light of the soul, called the Second Logos or Christ. The secret 
processes by which the Luciferian intellect is transmuted into the Christly intellect constitute one of 
the great secrets of alchemy, and are symbolized by the process of transmuting base metals into gold. 

In the rare treatise The Secret Symbols of The Rosicrucians, Franz Hartmann defines the sun 
alchemically as: "The symbol of Wisdom. The Centre of Power or Heart of things. The Sun is a centre 
of energy and a storehouse of power. Each living being contains within itself a centre of life, which 
may grow to be a Sun. In the heart of the regenerated, the divine power, stimulated by the Light of the 
Logos, grows into a Sun which illuminates his mind." In a note, the same author amplifies his 
description by adding: "The terrestrial sun is the image or reflection of the invisible celestial sun; the 
former is in the realm of Spirit what the latter is in the realm of Matter; but the latter receives its 
power from the former." 

In the majority of cases, the reUgions of antiquity agree that the material visible sun was a reflector 

rather than a source of power. The sun was sometimes represented as a shield carried on the arm of 
the Sun God, as for example, Frey, the Scandinavian Solar Deity. This sun reflected the light of the 
invisible spiritual sun, which was the true source of life, light, and truth. The physical nature of the 
universe is receptive; it is a realm of effects. The invisible causes of these effects belong to the spiritual 
world. Hence, the spiritual world is the sphere of causation; the material world is the sphere of effects; 
while the intellectual—or soul—world is the sphere of mediation. Thus Christ, the personified higher 
intellect and soul nature, is called "the Mediator" who, by virtue of His position and power, says: "No 
man cometh to the Father, but by me." 

What the sun is to the solar system, the spirit is to the bodies of man; for his natures, organs, and 
functions are as planets surrounding the central life (or sun) and living upon its emanations. The 
solar power in man is divided into three parts, which are termed the threefold human spirit of man. 
All three of these spiritual natures are said to be radiant and transcendent; united, they form the 
Divinity in man. Man's threefold lower nature— consisting of his physical organism, his emotional 
nature, and his mental faculties— reflects the light of his threefold Divinity and bears witness of It in 
the physical world. Man's three bodies are symbolized by an upright triangle; his threefold spiritual 
nature by an inverted triangle. These two triangles, when united in the form of a six-pointed star, 
were called by the Jews "the Star of David," "the Signet of Solomon," and are more commonly known 
today as "the Star of Zion." These triangles symbolize the spiritual and material universes linked 
together in the constitution of the human creature, who partakes of both Nature and Divinity. Man's 
animal nature partakes of the earth; his divine nature of the heavens; his human nature of the 


The Rosicrucians and the lUuminati, describing the angels, archangels, and other celestial creatures, 
declared that they resembled small suns, being centers of radiant energy surrounded by streamers of 
Vrilic force. From these outpouring streamers of force is derived the popular belief that angels have 
wings. These wings are corona-like fans of light, by means of which the celestial creatures propel 
themselves through the subtle essences of the superphysical worlds. 

True mystics are unanimous in their denial of the theory that the angels and archangels are human in 
form, as so often pictured. A human figure would be utterly useless in the ethereal substances 
through which they manifest. Science has long debated the probability of the other planers being 
inhabited. Objections to the idea are based upon the argument that creatures with human organisms 
could nor possibly exist in the environments of Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. This argument 
fails to take into account Nature's universal law of adjustment to environment. The ancients asserted 
that life originated from the sun, and that everything when bathed in the light of the solar orb was 
capable of absorbing the solar life elements and later radiating them as flora and fauna. One 

Moor describes this figure as follows: "The cast is nine inches in height, representing the glorious god of day-holding the 
attributes of VISHNU, seated on a seven-headed serpent; his car drawn by a seven-headed horse, driven by the legless 
ARUN, a personification of the dawn, or AURORA." (See Moor's Hindu Pantheon.) 

p- 52 

concept regarded the sun as a parent and the planers as embryos still connected to the solar body by 
means of ethereal umbilical cords which served as channels to convey life and nourishment to the 

Some secret orders have taught that the sun was inhabited by a race of creatures with bodies 
composed of a radiant, spiritual ether not unlike in its constituency the actual glowing ball of the sun 
itself. The solar heat had no harmful effect upon them, because their organisms were sufficiently 
refined and sensitized to harmonize with the sun's tremendous vibratory rate. These creatures 
resemble miniature suns, being a little larger than a dinner plate in size, although some of the more 
powerful are considerably larger. Their color is the golden white light of the sun, and from them 
emanate four streamers of Vril. These streamers are often of great length and are in constant motion. 
A peculiar palpitation is to be noted throughout the structure of the globe and is communicated in the 
form of ripples to the emanating streamers. The greatest and most luminous of these spheres is the 
Archangel Michael; and the entire order of solar life, which resemble him and dwell upon the sun, are 
called by modern Christians "the archangels" or "the spirits of the light. 


Gold is the metal of the sun and has been considered by many as crystallized sunlight. When gold is 
mentioned in alchemical tracts, it may be either the metal itself or the celestial orb which is the source, 
or spirit, of gold. Sulphur because of its fiery nature was also associated with the sun. 

As gold was the symbol of spirit and the base metals represented man's lower nature, certain 

alchemists were called "miners" and were pictured with picks and shovels digging into the earth in 
search of the precious metal—those finer traits of character buried in the earthiness of materiality and 
ignorance. The diamond concealed in the heart of the black carbon illustrated the same principle. The 
Illuminati used a pearl hidden in the shell of an oyster at the bottom of the sea to signify spiritual 
powers. Thus the seeker after truth became a pearl-fisher: he descended into the sea of material 
illusion in search of understanding, termed by the initiates "the Pearl of Great Price." 

When the alchemists stated that every animate and inanimate thing in the universe contained the 
seeds of gold, they meant that even the grains of sand possessed a spiritual nature, for gold was the 
spirit of all things. Concerning these seeds of spiritual gold the following Rosicrucian axiom is 
significant: "A seed is useless and impotent unless it is put in its appropriate matrix." Franz 
Hartmann comments on this axiom with these illuminating words: "A soul cannot develop and 
progress without an appropriate body, because it is the physical body that furnishes the material for 
its development." (See In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom.) 

The purpose of alchemy was not to make something out of nothing but rather to fertilize and nurture 
the seed which was already present. Its processes did nor actually create gold but rather made the 
ever-present seed of gold grow and flourish. Everything which exists has a spirit—the seed of Divinity 
within itself— and regeneration is not the process of attempting to place something where it previously 
had not existed. Regeneration actually means the unfoldment of the omnipresent Divinity in man, 
that this Divinity may shine forth as a sun and illumine all with whom it comes in contact. 


Apuleius said when describing his initiation (vide ante): "At midnight I saw the sun shining with a 
splendid light." The midnight sun was also part of the mystery of alchemy. It symbolized the spirit in 
man shining through the darkness of his human organisms. It also referred to the spiritual sun in the 
solar system, which the mystic could see as well at midnight as at high noon, the material earth bring 
powerless to obstruct the rays of this Divine orb. The mysterious lights which illuminated the temples 
of the Egyptian Mysteries during the nocturnal hours were said by some to he reflections of the 
spiritual sun gathered by the magical powers of the priests. The weird light seen ten miles below the 
surface of the earth by I-AM-THE-MAN in that remarkable Masonic allegory Etidorhpa (Aphrodite 
spelt backward) may well refer to the mysterious midnight sun of the ancient rites. 

Primitive conceptions concerning the warfare between the principles of Good and Evil were often 
based upon the alternations of day and night. During the Middle Ages, the practices of black magic 
were confined to the nocturnal hours; and those who served the Spirit of Evil were called black 
magicians, while those who served the Spirit of Good were called white magicians. Black and white 
were associated respectively with night and day, and the endless conflict of light and shadow is 
alluded to many times in the mythologies of various peoples. 

The Egyptian Demon, Typhon, was symbolized as part crocodile and part: hog because these animals 
are gross and earthy in both appearance and temperament. Since the world began, living things have 
feared the darkness; those few creatures who use it as a shield for their maneuvers were usually 
connected with the Spirit of Evil. Consequently cats, bats, toads, and owls are associated with 
witchcraft. In certain parts of Europe it is still believed that at night black magicians assume the 
bodies of wolves and roam around destroying. From this notion originated the stories of the 
werewolves. Serpents, because they lived in the earth, were associated with the Spirit of Darkness. As 
the battle between Good and Evil centers around the use of the generative forces of Nature, winged 
serpents represent the regeneration of the animal nature of man or those Great Ones in whom this 
regeneration is complete. Among the Egyptians the sun's rays are often shown ending in human 

hands. Masons will find a connection between these hands and the well-known Paw of the Lion which 
raises all things to life with its grip. 


The theory so long held of three primary and four secondary colors is purely exoteric, for since the 
earliest periods it has been known that there are seven, and not three, primary colors, the human eye 
being capable of estimating only three of them. Thus, although green can be made by combining blue 
and yellow, there is also a true or primary green which is not a compound. This can he proved by 
breaking up the spectrum with a prism. Helmholtz found that the so-called secondary colors of the 
spectrum could not be broken up into their supposed primary colors. Thus the orange of the spectrum, 
if passed through a second prism, does not break up into red and yellow but remains orange. 

Consciousness, intelligence, and force are fittingly symbolized by the colors blue, yellow, and red. The 

therapeutic effects of the colors, moreover, are in harmony with this concept, for blue is a fine, 
soothing, electrical color; yellow, a vitalizing and refining color; and red, an agitating and heat-giving 
color. It has also been demonstrated that minerals and plants affect the human constitution according 
to their colors. Thus a yellow flower generally yields a medicine that affects the constitution in a 
manner similar to yellow light or the musical tone mi. An orange flower will influence in a manner 
similar to orange light and, being one of the so-called secondary colors, corresponds either to the tone 
re or to the chord of do and mi. 

The ancients conceived the spirit of man to correspond with the color blue, the mind with yellow, and 
the body with red. Heaven is therefore blue, earth yellow, and hell~or the underworld—red. The fiery 
condition of the inferno merely symbolizes the nature of the sphere or plane of force of which it is 
composed. In the Greek Mysteries the irrational sphere was always considered as red, for it 
represented that condition in which the consciousness is enslaved by the lusts and passions of the 
lower nature. In India certain of the gods—usually attributes of Vishnu— are depicted with blue skin to 
signify their divine and supermundane constitution. According to esoteric philosophy, blue is the true 
and sacred color of the sun. The apparent orange-yellow shade of this orb is the result of its rays being 
immersed in the substances of the illusionary world. 

In the original symbolism of the Christian Church, colors were of first importance and their use was 
regulated according to carefully prepared rules. Since the Middle Ages, however, the carelessness 
with which colors have been employed has resulted in the loss of their deeper emblematic meanings. 
In its primary aspect, white or silver signified life, purity, innocence, joy, and light; red, the suffering 
and death of Christ and His saints, and also divine love, blood, and warfare or suffering; blue, the 
heavenly sphere and the states of godliness and contemplation; yellow or gold, glory, fruitfulness, and 
goodness; green, fecundity, youthfulness, and prosperity; violet, humility, deep affection, and sorrow; 
black, death, destruction, and humiliation. In early church art the colors of robes and ornaments also 
revealed whether a saint had been martyred, as well as the character of the work that he had done to 
deserve canonization. 

In addition to the colors of the spectrum there are a vast number of vibratory color waves, some too 
low and others too high to be registered by the human optical apparatus. It is appalling to 
contemplate man's colossal ignorance concerning these vistas of abstract space. As in the past man 
explored unknown continents, so in the future, armed with curious implements fashioned for the 
purpose, he will explore these little known fastnesses of light, color, sound, and consciousness. 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities. 

The corona of the sun is here shown in the form of a hon's mane. This is a subtle reminder of the fact that at one time the 
summer solstice took place in the sign of Leo, the Celestial Lion. 

P- 53 

The Zodiac and Its Signs 

IT is difficult for this age to estimate correctly the profound effect produced upon the religions, 
philosophies, and sciences of antiquity by the study of the planets, luminaries, and constellations. Not 
without adequate reason were the Magi of Persia called the Star Gazers. The Egyptians were honored 
with a special appellation because of their proficiency in computing the power and motion of the 
heavenly bodies and their effect upon the destinies of nations and individuals. Ruins of primitive 
astronomical observatories have been discovered in all parts of the world, although in many cases 
modern archaeologists are unaware of the true purpose for which these structures were erected. While 
the telescope was unknown to ancient astronomers, they made many remarkable calculations with 
instruments cut from blocks of granite or pounded from sheets of brass and cop per. In India such 
instruments are still in use, and they posses a high degree of accuracy. In Jaipur, Rajputana, India, an 
observatory consisting largely of immense stone sundials is still in operation. The famous Chinese 
observatory on the wall of Peking consists of immense bronze instruments, including a telescope in 
the form of a hollow tube without lenses. 

The pagans looked upon the stars as living things, capable of influencing the destinies of individuals, 
nations, and races. That the early Jewish patriarchs believed that the celestial bodies participated in 
the affairs of men is evident to any student of Biblical literature, as, for example, in the Book of 
Judges: "They fought from heaven, even the stars in their courses fought against Sisera." The 
Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Persians, Hindus, and Chinese all had zodiacs that were much 
alike in general character, and different authorities have credited each of these nations with being the 
cradle of astrology and astronomy. The Central and North American Indians also had an 
understanding of the zodiac, but the patterns and numbers of the signs differed in many details from 
those of the Eastern Hemisphere. 

The word zodiac is derived from the Greek ^coSiaKog (zodiakos), which means "a circle of animals," or, 
as some believe, "little animals." It is the name given by the old pagan astronomers to a band of fixed 
stars about sixteen degrees wide, apparently encircling the earth. Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, states 
that the Greek word zodiakos comes from zo-on, meaning "an animal." He adds: "This latter word is 
compounded directly from the primitive Egyptian radicals, zo, life, and on, a being." 

The Greeks, and later other peoples influenced by their culture, divided the band of the zodiac into 
twelve sections, each being sixteen degrees in width and thirty degrees in length. These divisions were 
called the Houses of the Zodiac. The sun during its annual pilgrimage passed through each of these in 
turn. Imaginary creatures were traced in the Star groups bounded by these rectangles; and because 
most of them were animal—or part animal—in form, they later became known as the Constellations, 
or Signs, of the Zodiac. 

There is a popular theory concerning the origin of the zodiacal creatures to the effect that they were 
products of the imagination of shepherds, who, watching their flocks at night, occupied their minds 
by tracing the forms of animals and birds in the heavens. This theory is untenable, unless the 
"shepherds" be regarded as the shepherd priests of antiquity. It is unlikely that the zodiacal signs 
were derived from the star groups which they now represent. It is far more probable that the 
creatures assigned to the twelve houses are symbolic of the qualities and intensity of the sun's power 
while it occupies different parts of the zodiacal belt. 

On this subject Richard Payne Knight writes: "The emblematical meaning, which certain animals 
were employed to signify, was only some particular property generalized; and, therefore, might easily 
be invented or discovered by the natural operation of the mind: but the collections of stars, named 

after certain animals, have no resemblance whatever to those animals; which are therefore merely 
signs of convention adopted to distinguish certain portions of the heavens, which were probably 
consecrated to those particular personified attributes, which they respectively represented." {The 
Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology.) 

Some authorities are of the opinion that the zodiac was originally divided into ten (instead of twelve) 
houses, or "solar mansions." In early times there were two separate standards—one solar and the 
other lunar—used for the measurement of the months, years, and seasons. The solar year was 
composed of ten months of thirty-six days each, and five days sacred to the gods. The lunar year 
consisted of thirteen months of twenty-eight days each, with one day left over. The solar zodiac at that 
time consisted often houses of thirty-six degrees each. 

The first six signs of the zodiac of twelve signs were regarded as benevolent, because the sun occupied 
them while traversing the Northern Hemisphere. The 6,000 years during which, according to the 
Persians, Ahura-Mazda ruled His universe in harmony and peace, were symbolic of these six signs. 
The second six were considered malevolent, because while the sun was traveling the Southern 
Hemisphere it was winter with the Greeks, Egyptians, and Persians. Therefore these six months 
symbolic of the 6,000 years of misery and suffering caused by the evil genius of the Persians, 
Ahriman, who sought to overthrow the power of Ahura-Mazda. 

Those who hold the opinion that before its revision by the Greeks the zodiac consisted of only ten 
signs adduce evidence to show that Libra (the Scales) was inserted into the zodiac by dividing the 
constellation of Virgo Scorpio (at that time one sign) into two parts, thus establishing "the balance" at 
the point of equilibrium between the ascending northern and the descending southern signs. (See The 
Rosicrucians, Their Rites and Mysteries, by Hargrave Jennings.) On this subject Isaac Myer states: 
"We think that the Zodiacal constellations were first ten and represented an immense androgenic 
man or deity; subsequently this was changed, resulting in Scorpio and Virgo and making eleven; after 
this from Scorpio, Libra, the Balance, was taken, making the present twelve." {The Qabbalah.) 

Each year the sun passes entirely around the zodiac and returns to the point from which it started— 
the vernal equinox— and each year it falls just a little short of making the complete circle of the 
heavens in the allotted period of time. As a result, it crosses the equator just a little behind the spot in 
the zodiacal sign where it crossed the previous year. Each sign of the zodiac consists of thirty degrees, 
and as the sun loses about one degree every seventy two years, it regresses through one entire 
constellation (or sign) in approximately 2,160 years, and through the entire zodiac in about [paragraph 



From Kircher's (Edipus Mgyptiacus. 

The ornamental border contains groups of names of animal, mineral, and vegetable substances. Their relationship to 
corresponding parts of the human body is shown by the dotted lines. The words in capital letters on the dotted lines 
indicate to what corporeal member, organ, or disease, the herb or other substance is related. The favorable positions in 
relation to the time of year are shown by the signs of the zodiac, each house of which is divided by crosses into its three 
decans. This influence is further emphasized by the series of planetary signs placed on either side of the figure. 

The plane of the zodiac intersects the celestial equator at an angle of approximately 23° 28'. The two points of intersection 
(A and B) are called the equinoxes. 

25,920 years. (Authorities disagree concerning these figures.) This retrograde motion is called the 
precession of the equinoxes. This means that in the course of about 25,920 years, which constitute 


P- 54 

one Great Solar or Platonic Year, each one of the twelve constellations occupies a position at the 
vernal equinox for nearly 2,160 years, then gives place to the previous sign. 

Among the ancients the sun was always symbolized by the figure and nature of the constellation 
through which it passed at the vernal equinox. For nearly the past 2,000 years the sun has crossed the 
equator at the vernal equinox in the constellation of Pisces (the Two Fishes). For the 2,160 years 
before that it crossed through the constellation of Aries (the Ram). Prior to that the vernal equinox 
was in the sign of Taurus (the Bull). It is probable that the form of the bull and the bull's proclivities 
were assigned to this constellation because the bull was used by the ancients to plow the fields, and 
the season set aside for plowing and furrowing corresponded to the time at which the sun reached the 
segment of the heavens named Taurus. 

Albert Pike describes the reverence which the Persians felt for this sign and the method of astrological 
symbolism in vogue among them, thus: "In Zoroaster's cave of initiation, the Sun and Planets were 
represented, overhead, in gems and gold, as was also the Zodiac. The Sun appeared, emerging from 
the back of Taurus. " In the constellation of the Bull are also to be found the "Seven Sisters"~the 
sacred Pleiades—famous to Freemasonry as the Seven Stars at the upper end of the Sacred Ladder. 

In ancient Egypt it was during this period— when the vernal equinox was in the sign of Taurus— that 
the Bull, Apis, was sacred to the Sun God, who was worshiped through the animal equivalent of the 
celestial sign which he had impregnated with his presence at the time of its crossing into the Northern 
Hemisphere. This is the meaning of an ancient saying that the celestial Bull "broke the egg of the year 
with his horns." 

Sampson Arnold Mackey, in his Mythological Astronomy of the Ancients Demonstrated, makes note 
of two very interesting points concerning the bull in Egyptian symbolism. Mr. Mackey is of the 
opinion that the motion of the earth that we know as the alternation of the poles has resulted in a 
great change of relative position of the equator and the zodiacal band. He believes that originally the 
band of the zodiac was at right angles to the equator, with the sign of Cancer opposite the north pole 
and the sign of Capricorn opposite the south pole. It is possible that the Orphic symbol of the serpent 
twisted around the egg attempts to show the motion of the sun in relation to the earth under such 
conditions. Mr. Mackey advances the Labyrinth of Crete, the name Abraxas, and the magic formula, 
abracadabra, among other things, to substantiate his theory. Concerning abracadabra he states: 

"But the slow progressive disappearance of the Bull is most happily commemorated in the vanishing 
series of letters so emphatically expressive of the great astronomical fact. For ABRACADABRA is The 
Bull, the only Bull. The ancient sentence split into its component parts stands thus: Ab'r-achad-ab'ra, 
i. e., Ab'r, the Bull; achad, the only, &c.— Achad is one of the names of the Sun, given him in 
consequence of his Shining ALONE,— he is the ONLY Star to be seen when he is seen— the remaining 
ab'ra, makes the whole to be, The Bull, the only Bull; while the repetition of the name omitting a letter, 
till all is gone, is the most simple, yet the most satisfactory method that could have been devised to 
preserve the memory of the fact; and the name of Sorapis, or Serapis, given to the Bull at the above 
ceremony puts it beyond all doubt. * * * This word (Abracadabra) disappears in eleven decreasing 
stages; as in the figure. And what is very remarkable, a body with three heads is folded up by a 
Serpent with eleven Coils, and placed by Sorapis: and the eleven Volves of the Serpent form a triangle 
similar to that formed by the ELEVEN diminishing lines of the abracadabra." 

Nearly every religion of the world shows traces of astrological influence. The Old Testament of the 
Jews, its writings overshadowed by Egyptian culture, is a mass of astrological and astronomical 
allegories. Nearly all the mythology of Greece and Rome maybe traced in star groups. Some writers 
are of the opinion that the original twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet were derived from 
groups of stars, and that the starry handwriting on the wall of the heavens referred to words spelt out. 

with fixed stars for consonants, and the planets, or luminaries, for vowels. These, coming into ever- 
different combinations, spelt words which, when properly read, foretold future events. 

As the zodiacal band marks the pathway of the sun through the constellations, it results in the 
phenomena of the seasons. The ancient systems of measuring the year were based upon the 
equinoxes and the solstices. The year always began with the vernal equinox, celebrated March 21 with 
rejoicing to mark the moment when the sun crossed the equator northward up the zodiacal arc. The 
summer solstice was celebrated when the sun reached its most northerly position, and the day 
appointed was June 21. After that time the sun began to descend toward the equator, which it 
recrossed southbound at the autumnal equinox, September 21. The sun reached its most southerly 
position at the winter solstice, December 21. 

Four of the signs of the zodiac have been permanently dedicated to the equinoxes and the solstices; 
and, while the signs no longer correspond with the ancient constellations to which they were assigned, 
and from which they secured their names, they are accepted by modern astronomers as a basis of 
calculation. The vernal equinox is therefore said to occur in the constellation of Aries (the Ram). It is 
fitting that of all beasts a Ram should be placed at the head of the heavenly flock forming the zodiacal 
band. Centuries before the Christian Era, the pagans revered this constellation. Godfrey Higgins 
states: "This constellation was called the 'Lamb of God.' He was also called the 'Savior,' and was said 
to save mankind from their sins. He was always honored with the appellation of 'Dominus' or 'Lord.' 
He was called the 'Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.' The devotees addressing 
him in their litany, constantly repeated the words, 'O Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the 
world, have mercy upon us. Grant us Thy peace.'" Therefore, the Lamb of God is a title given to the 
sun, who is said to be reborn every year in the Northern Hemisphere in the sign of the Ram, although, 
due to the existing discrepancy between the signs of the zodiac and the actual star groups, it actually 
rises in the sign of Pisces. 

The summer solstice is regarded as occurring in Cancer (the Crab), which the Egyptians called the 
scarab— a beetle of the family Lamellicornes, the head of the insect kingdom, and sacred to the 
Egyptians as the symbol of Eternal Life. It is evident that the constellation of the Crab is represented 
by this peculiar creature because the sun, after passing through this house, proceeds to walk 
backwards, or descend the zodiacal arc. Cancer is the symbol of generation, for it is the house of the 
Moon, the great Mother of all things and the patroness of the life forces of Nature. Diana, the moon 
goddess of the Greeks, is called the Mother of the World. Concerning the worship of the feminine or 
maternal principle, Richard Payne Knight writes: 

"By attracting or heaving the waters of the ocean, she naturally appeared to be the sovereign of 
humidity; and by seeming to operate so powerfully upon the constitutions of women, she equally 
appeared to be the patroness and regulatress of nutrition and passive generation: whence she is said 
to have received her nymphs, or subordinate personifications, from the ocean; and is often 
represented by the symbol of the sea crab, an animal that has the property of spontaneously 
detaching from its own body any limb that has been hurt or mutilated, and reproducing another in its 
place." (The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology .) This water sign, being symbolic of 
the maternal principle of Nature, and recognized by the pagans as the origin of all life, was a natural 
and consistent domicile of the moon. 

The autumnal equinox apparently occurs in the constellation of Libra (the Balances). The scales 
tipped and the solar globe began its pilgrimage toward the house of winter. The constellation of the 
Scales was placed in the zodiac to symbolize the power of choice, by means of which man may weigh 
one problem against another. Millions of years ago, when the human race was in the making, man 
was like the angels, who knew neither good nor evil. He fell into the state of the knowledge of good 
and evil when the gods gave him the seed for the mental nature. From man's mental reactions to his 
environments he distills the product of experience, which then aids him to regain his lost position 

plus an individualized intelligence. Paracelsus said: "The body comes from the elements, the soul 
from the stars, and the spirit from God. All that the intellect can conceive of comes from the stars [the 
spirits of the stars, rather than the material constellations]." 

The constellation of Capricorn, in which the winter solstice theoretically takes place, was called The 

House of Death, for in winter all life in the Northern Hemisphere is at its lowest ebb. Capricorn is a 
composite creature, with the head and upper body of a goat and the tail of a fish. In this constellation 
the sun is least powerful 


From Schotus' Margarita Philosophica. 

The pagans believed that the zodiac formed the body of the Grand Man of the Universe. This body, which they called the 
Macrocosm (the Great World), was divided into twelve major parts, one of which was under the control of the celestial 
powers reposing in each of the zodiacal constellations. Believing that the entire universal system was epitomized in man's 
body, which they called the Microcosm (the Little World), they evolved that now familiar figure of "the cut-up man in the 
almanac" by allotting a sign of the zodiac to each of twelve major parts of the human body. 

P- 55 

in the Northern Hemisphere, and after passing through this constellation it immediately begins to 
increase. Hence the Greeks said that Jupiter (a name of the Sun God) was suckled by a goat. A new 
and different sidelight on zodiacal symbolism is supplied by John Cole, in A Treatise on the Circular 
Zodiac ofTentyra, in Egypt: "The symbol therefore of the Goat rising from the body of a fish 
[Capricorn], represents with the greatest propriety the mountainous buildings of Babylon rising out 
of its low and marshy situation; the two horns of the Goat being emblematical of the two towns, 
Nineveh and Babylon, the former built on the Tigris, the latter on the Euphrates; but both subjected 
to one sovereignty." 

The period of 2,160 years required for the regression of the sun through one of the zodiacal 
constellations is often termed an age. According to this system, the age secured its name from the sign 
through which the sun passes year after year as it crosses the equator at the vernal equinox. From this 
arrangement are derived the terms The Taurian Age, The Aryan Age, The Piscean Age, and The 

Aquarian Age. During these periods, or ages, religious worship takes the form of the appropriate 

celestial sign—that which the sun is said to assume as a personality in the same manner that a spirit 
assumes a body. These twelve signs are the jewels of his breastplate and his light shines forth from 
them, one after the other. 

From a consideration of this system, it is readily understood why certain religious symbols were 
adopted during different ages of the earth's history; for during the 2,160 years the sun was in the 
constellation of Taurus, it is said that the Solar Deity assumed the body of Apis, and the Bull became 
sacred to Osiris. (For details concerning the astrological ages as related to Biblical symbolism, see The 
Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Foss Heindel.) During the Aryan Age the Lamb was held 
sacred and the priests were called shepherds. Sheep and goats were sacrificed upon the altars, and a 
scapegoat was appointed to bear the sins of Israel. 

During the Age of Pisces, the Fish was the symbol of divinity and the Sun God fed the multitude with 
two small fishes. The frontispiece oilnmon's Ancient Faiths shows the goddess Isis with a fish on her 
head; and the Indian Savior God, Christna, in one of his incarnations was cast from the mouth of a 

Not only is Jesus often referred to as the Fisher of Men, but as John P. Lundy writes: "The word Fish 
is an abbreviation of this whole title, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, and Cross; or as St. Augustine 
expresses it, 'If you join together the initial letters of the five Greek words, Iriaoug Xpioxo? Qeov Yioo 
Scoxfip, which mean Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, they will make 1X0 YE, Fish, in which word 
Christ is mystically understood, because He was able to live in the abyss of this mortality as in the 
depth of waters, that is, without sin.'" (Monumental Christianity.) Many Christians observe Friday, 
which is sacred to the Virgin (Venus), upon which day they shall eat fish and not meat. The sign of the 
fish was one of the earliest symbols of Christianity; and when drawn upon the sand, it informed one 
Christian that another of the same faith was near. 

Aquarius is called the Sign of the Water Bearer, or the man with a jug of water on his shoulder 
mentioned in the New Testament. This is sometimes shown as an angelic figure, supposedly 
androgynous, either pouring water from an urn or carrying the vessel upon its shoulder. Among 
Oriental peoples, a water vessel alone is often used. Edward Upham, in his History and Doctrine of 
Budhism, describes Aquarius as being "in the shape of a pot and of a color between blue and yellow; 
this Sign is the single house of Saturn." 

When Herschel discovered the planet Uranus (sometimes called by the name of its discoverer), the 
second half of the sign of Aquarius was allotted to this added member of the planetary family. The 
water pouring from the urn of Aquarius under the name of "the waters of eternal life" appears many 
times in symbolism. So it is with all the signs. Thus the sun in its path controls whatever form of 
worship man offers to the Supreme Deity. 

There are two distinct systems of astrological philosophy. One of them, the Ptolemaic, is geocentric: 
the earth is considered the center of the solar system, around which the sun, moon, and planets 
revolve. Astronomically, the geocentric system is incorrect; but for thousands of years it has proved 
its accuracy when applied to the material nature of earthly things. A careful consideration of the 
writings of the great occultists and a study of their diagrams reveal the fact that many of them were 
acquainted with another method of arranging the heavenly bodies. 

The other system of astrological philosophy is called the heliocentric. This posits the sun in the center 
of the solar system, where it naturally belongs, with the planets and their moons revolving about it. 
The great difficulty, however, with the heliocentric system is that, being comparatively new, there has 
not been sufficient time to experiment successfully and catalogue the effects of its various aspects and 

relationships. Geocentric astrology, as its name implies, is confined to the earthy side of nature, while 
heliocentric astrology maybe used to analyze the higher intellectual and spiritual faculties of man. 

The important point to be remembered is that when the sun was said to be in a certain sign of the 
zodiac, the ancients really meant that the sun occupied the opposite sign and cast its long ray into the 
house in which they enthroned it. Therefore, when it is said that the sun is in Taurus, it means 
(astronomically) that the sun is in the sign opposite to Taurus, which is Scorpio. This resulted in two 
distinct schools of philosophy: one geocentric and exoteric, the other heliocentric and esoteric. While 
the ignorant multitudes worshiped the house of the sun's reflection, which in the case described 
would be the Bull, the wise revered the house of the sun's actual dwelling, which would be the 
Scorpion, or the Serpent, the symbol of the concealed spiritual mystery. This sign has three different 
symbols. The most common is that of a Scorpion, who was called by the ancients the backbiter, being 
the symbol of deceit and perversion; the second (and less common) form of the sign is a Serpent, 
often used by the ancients to symbolize wisdom. 

Probably the rarest form of Scorpio is that of an Eagle. The arrangement of the stars of the 
constellation bears as much resemblance to a flying bird as to a scorpion. Scorpio, being the sign of 
occult initiation, the flying eagle—the king of birds—represents the highest and most spiritual type of 
Scorpio, in which it transcends the venomous insect of the earth. As Scorpio and Taurus are opposite 
each other in the zodiac, their symbolism is often closely intermingled. The Hon. E. M. Plunket, in 
Ancient Calendars and Constellations, says: "The Scorpion (the constellation Scorpio of the Zodiac 
opposed to Taurus) joins with Mithras in his attack upon the Bull, and always the genii of the spring 
and autumn equinoxes are present in joyous and mournful attitudes." 

The Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians, who knew the sun as a Bull, called the zodiac a 
series of furrows, through which the great celestial Ox dragged the plow of the sun. Hence the 
populace offered up sacrifice and led through the streets magnificent steers, bedecked with flowers 
and surrounded with priests, dancing girls of the temple, and musicians. The philosophic elect did not 
participate in these idolatrous ceremonials, but advocated them as most suitable for the types of mind 
composing the mass of the population. These few possessed a far deeper understanding, as the 
Serpent of Scorpio upon their foreheads—the [7r£Bus— bore witness. 

The sun is often symbolized with its rays in the form of a shaggy mane. Concerning the Masonic 
significance of Leo, Robert Hewitt Brown, 32°, has written: "On the 21st of June, when the sun arrives 
at the summer solstice, the constellation Leo— being but 30° in advance of the sun— appears to be 
leading the way, and to aid by his powerful paw in lifting the sun up to the summit of the zodiacal 
arch. * * * This visible connection between the constellation Leo and the return of the sun to his place 
of power and glory, at the summit of the Royal Arch of heaven, was the principal reason why that 
constellation was held in such high esteem and reverence by the ancients. The astrologers 
distinguished Leo as the 'sole house of the sun,' and taught that the world was created when the sun 
was in that sign. 'The lion was adored in the East and the West by the Egyptians and the Mexicans. 
The chief Druid of Britain was styled a lion.'" (Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy.) When the 
Aquarian Age is thoroughly established, the sun will be in Leo, as will be noted from the explanation 
previously given in this chapter regarding the distinction between geocentric and heliocentric 
astrology. Then, indeed, will the secret religions of the world include once more the raising to 
initiation by the Grip of the Lion's Paw. (Lazarus will come forth.) 


From Cole's Treatise— the Circular Zodiac ofTentyra, in Egypt. 

The oldest circular zodiac known is the one found at Tentyra, in Egypt, and now in the possession of the French 
government. Mr. John Cole describes this remarkable zodiac as follows: "The diameter of the medallion in which the 
constellations are sculptured, is four feet nine inches, French measure. It is surrounded by another circle of much larger 
circumference, containing hieroglyphic characters; this second circle is enclosed in a square, whose sides are seven feet 
nine inches long. * * * The asterisms, constituting the Zodiacal constellations mixed with others, are represented in a 
spiral. The extremities of this spiral, after one revolution, are Leo and Cancer. Leo is no doubt at the head. It appears to be 
trampling on a serpent, and its tail to be held by a woman. Immediately after the Lion comes the Virgin holding an ear of 
corn. Further on, we perceive two scales of a balance, above which, in a medal lion, is the figure of Harpocrates. Then 
follows the Scorpion and Sagittarius, to whom the Egyptians gave wings, and two faces. After Sagittarius are successively 
placed, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, the Ram, the Bull, and the Twins. This Zodiacal procession is, as we have already 
observed, terminated by Cancer, the Crab." 

p- 56 

The antiquity of the zodiac is much in dispute. To contend that it originated but a mere few thousand 
years before the Christian Era is a colossal mistake on the part of those who have sought to compile 
data, concerning its origin. The zodiac necessarily must be ancient enough to go backward to that 
period when its signs and symbols coincided exactly with the positions of the constellations whose 
various creatures in their natural functions exemplified the outstanding features of the sun's activity 
during each of the twelve months. One author, after many years of deep study on the subject, believed 
man's concept of the zodiac to be at least five million years old. In all probability it is one of the many 
things for which the modem world is indebted to the Atlantean or the Lemurian civilizations. About 
ten thousand years before the Christian Era there was a period of many ages when knowledge of every 
kind was suppressed, tablets destroyed, monuments torn down, and every vestige of available 
material concerning previous civilizations completely obliterated. Only a few copper knives, some 
arrowheads, and crude carvings on the walls of caves bear mute witness of those civilizations which 
preceded this age of destruction. Here and there a few gigantic structures have remained which, like 
the strange monoliths on Easter Island, are evidence of lost arts and sciences and lost races. The 
human race is exceedingly old. Modern science counts its age in tens of thousands of years; occultism, 
in tens of millions. There is an old saying that "Mother Earth has shaken many civilizations from her 

back," and it is not beyond reason that the principles of astrology and astronomy were evolved 
millions of years before the first white man appeared. 

The occultists of the ancient world had a most remarkable understanding of the principle of evolution. 
They recognized all life as being in various stages of becoming. They believed that grains of sand were 
in the process of becoming human in consciousness but not necessarily in form; that human 
creatures were in the process of becoming planets; that planets were in the process of becoming solar 
systems; and that solar systems were in the process of becoming cosmic chains; and so on ad 
infinitum. One of the stages between the solar system and the cosmic chain was called the zodiac; 
therefore they taught that at a certain time a solar system breaks up into a zodiac. The house of the 
zodiac become the thrones for twelve Celestial Hierarchies, or as certain of the ancients state, ten 
Divine Orders. Pythagoras taught that lo, or the unit of the decimal system, was the most perfect of 
all numbers, and he symbolized the number ten by the lesser tetractys, an arrangement of ten dots in 
the form of an upright triangle. 

The early star gazers, after dividing the zodiac into its houses, appointed the three brightest scars in 
each constellation to be the joint rulers of that house. Then they divided the house into three sections 
of ten degrees each, which they called decans. These, in turn, were divided in half, resulting in the 
breaking up of the zodiac into seventy-two duodecans of five degrees each. Over each of these 
duodecans the Hebrews placed a celestial intelligence, or angel, and from this system, has resulted 
the Qabbalistic arrangement of the seventy-two sacred names, which correspond to the seventy-two 
flowers, knops, and almonds upon the seven-branched Candlestick of the Tabernacle, and the 
seventy-two men who were chosen from the Twelve Tribes to represent Israel. 

The only two signs not already mentioned are Gemini and Sagittarius. The constellation of Gemini is 
generally represented as two small children, who, according to the ancients, were born out of eggs, 
possibly the ones that the Bull broke with his horns. The stories concerning Castor and Pollux, and 
Romulus and Remus, may be the result of amplifying the myths of these celestial Twins. The symbols 
of Gemini have passed through many modifications. The one used by the Arabians was the peacock. 
Two of the important stars in the constellation of Gemini still bear the names of Castor and Pollux. 
The sign of Gemini is supposed to have been the patron of phallic worship, and the two obelisks, or 
pillars, in front of temples and churches convey the same symbolism as the Twins. 

The sign of Sagittarius consists of what the ancient Greeks called a centaur~a composite creature, the 
lower half of whose body was in the form of a horse, while the upper half was human. The centaur is 
generally shown with a bow and arrow in his hands, aiming a shaft far off into the stars. Hence 
Sagittarius stands for two distinct principles: first, it represents the spiritual evolution of man, for the 
human form is rising from the body of the beast; secondly, it is the symbol of aspiration and ambition, 
for as the centaur aims his arrow at the stars, so every human creature aims at a higher mark than he 
can reach. 

Albert Churchward, in The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, sums up the influence of the 
zodiac upon religious symbolism in the following words: "The division here [is] in twelve parts, the 
twelve signs of the Zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve gates of heaven mentioned in Revelation, 
and twelve entrances or portals to be passed through in the Great Pyramid, before finally reaching the 
highest degree, and twelve Apostles in the Christian doctrines, and the twelve original and perfect 
points in Masonry." 

The ancients believed that the theory of man's being made in the image of God was to be understood 
literally. They maintained that the universe was a great organism not unlike the human body, and 
that every phase and function of the Universal Body had a correspondence in man. The most precious 
Key to Wisdom that the priests communicated to the new initiates was what they termed the law of 

analogy. Therefore, to the ancients, the study of the stars was a sacred science, for they saw in the 
movements of the celestial bodies the ever-present activity of the Infinite Father. 

The Pythagoreans were often undeservedly criticized for promulgating the so-called doctrine of 
metempsychosis, or the transmigration of souls. This concept as circulated among the uninitiated was 
merely a blind, however, to conceal a sacred truth. Greek mystics believed that the spiritual nature of 
man descended into material existence from the Milky Way— the seed ground of souls—through one of 
the twelve gates of the great zodiacal band. The spiritual nature was therefore said to incarnate in the 
form of the symbolic creature created by Magian star gazers to represent the various zodiacal 
constellations. If the spirit incarnated through the sign of Aries, it was said to be born in the body of a 
ram; if in Taurus, in the body of the celestial bull. All human beings were thus symbolized by twelve 
mysterious creatures through the natures of which they were able to incarnate into the material world. 
The theory of transmigration was not applicable to the visible material body of man, but rather to the 
invisible immaterial spirit wandering along the pathway of the stars and sequentially assuming in the 
course of evolution the forms of the sacred zodiacal animals. 

In the Third Book of the Mathesis of Julius Firmicus Maternus appears the following extract 
concerning the positions of the heavenly bodies at the time of the establishment of the inferior 
universe: "According to ^Esculapius, therefore, and Anubius, to whom especially the divinity Mercury 
committed the secrets of the astrological science, the geniture of the world is as follows: They 
constituted the Sun in the 15th part of Leo, the Moon in the 15th part of Cancer, Saturn in the 15th 
part of Capricorn, Jupiter in the 15th part of Sagittary, Mars in the 15th part of Scorpio, Venus in the 
15th part of Libra, Mercury in the 15th part of Virgo, and the Horoscope in the 15th part of Cancer. 
Conformably to this geniture, therefore, to these conditions of the stars, and the testimonies which 
they adduce in confirmation of this geniture, they are of opinion that the destinies of men, also, are 
disposed in accordance with the above arrangement, as maybe learnt from that book of ^Esculapius 
which is called Mupioysveoig, (i.e. Ten Thousand, or an innumerable multitude of Genitures) in order 
that nothing in the several genitures of men may be found to be discordant with the above-mentioned 
geniture of the world." The seven ages of man are under the control of the planets in the following 
order: infancy, the moon; childhood. Mercury; adolescence, Venus; maturity, the sun; middle age. 
Mars; advanced age, Jupiter; and decrepitude and dissolution, Saturn. 


From Kircher's CEdipus j^gyptiacus. 

The inner circle contains the hieroglyph of Hemphta, the triform and pantamorphic deity. In the six concentric bands 
surrounding the inner circle are (from within outward): (i) the numbers of the zodiacal houses in figures and also in 
words; (2) the modern names of the houses.(3) the Greek or the Egyptian names of the Egyptian deities assigned to the 
houses; (4) the complete figures of these deities; (5) the ancient or the modem zodiacal signs, sometimes both; (6) the 
number of decans or subdivisions of the houses. 

p- 57 




Concerning the theurgic or magic sense in which the Egyptian priests exhibited in the Bembine Table of Isis the philosophy of sacrifice, rites, and ceremonies 

system of occult symbols, Athanasius Kircher writes: 

"The early priests believed that a great spiritual power was invoked by correct and unabridged sacrificial ceremonies. If 
one feature were lacking, the whole was vitiated, says lamblichus. Hence they were most careful in all details, for they 
considered it absolutely essential for the entire chain of logical connections to be exactly according to ritual. Certainly for 
no other reason did they prepare and prescribe for future use the manuals, as it were, for conducting the rites. They 
learned, too, what the first hieromancers—possessed, as it were, by a divine fury—devised as a system of symbolism for 
exhibiting their mysteries. These they placed in this Tablet of Isis, before the eyes of those admitted to the sanctum 
sanctorum in order to teach the nature of the Gods and the prescribed forms of sacrifice. Since each of the orders of Gods 
had its own peculiar symbols, gestures, costumes, and ornaments, they thought it necessary to observe these in the whole 
apparatus of worship, as nothing was more efficacious in drawing the benign attention of the deities and genii. * * * Thus 
their temples, remote from the usual haunts of men, contained representations of nearly every form in nature. First, in the 
pavement, they symbolized the physical economy of the world, using minerals, stones and other things suitable for 
ornaments, including little streams of water. The walls showed the starry world, and the done the world of genii. In the 
center was the altar, to suggest the emanations of the Supreme Mind from its center. Thus the entire interior constituted a 
picture of the Universe of Worlds. The priests in making sacrifices wore raiment adorned with figures similar to those 
attributed to the Gods. Their bodies were partially bare like those of the deities, and they themselves were divested of all 
material cares and practices the strictest chastity. * * * Their heads were veiled to indicate their charge of earthly things. 
Their heads and bodies were shaved, for they regarded hair as a useless excrescence. Upon the head they bore the same 
insignia as those attributed to the Gods. Thus arrayed, they regarded themselves to be transformed into that intelligence 
with which they constantly desired to be identified. For example, in order to call down to the world the soul and spirit of 
the Universe, they stood before the image shown in the center of our Tablet, wearing the same symbols as that figure and 
its attendants, and offered sacrifices. By these and the accompanying singing of hymns they believed that they infallibly 
drew the God's attention to their prayer. And so they did in regard to other regions of the Tablet, believing of necessity the 
proper ritual properly carried out would evoke the deity desired. That this was the origin of the science of oracles is 
apparent. As a touched chord produces a harmony of sound, likewise the adjoining chords respond though not touched. 
Similarly the idea they expressed by their concurrent acts while adoring the God came into accord with basic Idea and, by 
an intellectual union, it was returned to them deiformed, and they thus obtained the Idea of Ideas. Hence there sprang up 
in their souls, they thought, the gift of prophecy and divination, and they believed they could foretell future events, 
impending evils, etc. For as in the Supreme Mind everj^hing is simultaneous and spaceless, the future is therefore present 
in that Mind; and they thought that while the human mind was absorbed in the Supreme by contemplation, by that union 
they were enabled to know all the future. Nearly all that is represented in our Tablet consists of amulets which, by analogy 
above described, would inspire them, under the described conditions, with the virtues of the Supreme Power and enable 
them to receive good and avert evil. They also believed they could in this magical manner effect cures of diseases; that 
genii could be induced to appear to them during sleep and cure or teach them to cure the sick. In this belief they consulted 
the Gods about all sort of doubts and difficulties, while adorned with the simulacra of the mystic rite and intently 
contemplating the Divine Ideas; and while so enraptured they believed the God by some sign, nod or gesture 
communicated with them, whether asleep or awake, concerning the truth or falsity of the matter in point." (See CEdipus 

The Bembine Table of Isis 

A MANUSCRIPT by Thomas Taylor contains the following remarkable paragraph: 

"Plato was initiated into the 'Greater Mysteries' at the age of 49. The initiation took place in one of the 
subterranean halls of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The ISIAC TABLE formed the altar, before which 
the Divine Plato stood and received that which was always his, but which the ceremony of the 
Mysteries enkindled and brought from its dormant state. With this ascent, after three days in the 
Great Hall, he was received by the Hierophant of the Pyramid (the Hierophant was seen only by those 
who had passed the three days, the three degrees, the three dimensions) and given verbally the 
Highest Esoteric Teachings, each accompanied with Its appropriate Symbol. After a further three 
months' sojourn in the halls of the Pyramid, the Initiate Plato was sent out into the world to do the 
work of the Great Order, as Pj^hagoras and Orpheus had been before him." 

Before the sacking of Rome in 1527 there is no historical mention of the Mensa Isiaca, (Tablet of Isis). 
At that time the Tablet came into the possession of a certain locksmith or ironworker, who sold it at 
an exorbitant price to Cardinal Bembo, a celebrated antiquary, historiographer of the Republic of 
Venice, and afterwards librarian of St. Mark's. After his death in 1547 the Isiac Tablet was acquired by 
the House of Mantua, in whose museum it remained until 1630, when troops of Ferdinand II 
captured the city of Mantua. Several early writers on the subject have assumed that the Tablet was 
demolished by the ignorant soldiery for the silver it contained. The assumption, however, was 
erroneous. The Tablet fell into the hands of Cardinal Pava, who presented it to the Duke of Savoy, 
who in turn presented it to the King of Sardinia. When the French conquered Italy in 1797 the Tablet 
was carried to Paris. In 1809, Alexandre Lenoir, writing of the Mensa Isiaca, said it was on exhibition 
at the Bibliotheque Nationale. Upon the establishment of peace between the two countries it was 
returned to Italy. In his Guide to Northern Italy, Karl Baedeker describes the Mensa Isiaca as being 
in the center of Gallery 2 in the Museum of Antiquities at Turin. 

A faithful reproduction of the original Tablet was made in 1559 by the celebrated JEneas Vicus of 
Parma, and a copy of the engraving was given by the Chancellor of the Duke of Bavaria to the 
Museum of Hieroglyphics. Athanasius Kircher describes the Tablet as "five palms long and four 
wide." W. Wynn Westcott says it measures 50 by 30 inches. It was made of bronze and decorated with 
encaustic or smalt enamel and silver inlay. Fosbroke adds: "The figures are cut very shallow, and the 
contour of most of them is encircled by threads of silver. The bases upon which the figures were 
seated or reclined, and left blank in the prints, were of silver and are torn away." (See Encyclopaedia 
of Antiquities.) 

Those familiar with the fundamental principles of Hermetic philosophy will recognize in the Mensa 
Isiaca the key to Chaldean, Egyptian, and Greek theology. In his Antiquities, the learned Benedictine, 
Father Montfaucon, admits his inability to cope with the intricacies of its symbolism. He therefore 
doubts that the emblems upon the Tablet possess any significance worthy of consideration and 
ridicules Kircher, declaring him to be more obscure than the Tablet itself. Laurentius Pignorius 
reproduced the Tablet in connection with a descriptive essay in 1605, but his timidly advanced 
explanations demonstrated his ignorance concerning the actual interpretation of the figures. 

In his CEdipus Mgyptiacus, published in 1654, Kircher attacked the problem with characteristic 
avidity. Being peculiarly qualified for such a task by years of research in matters pertaining to the 
secret doctrines of antiquity, and with the assistance of a group of eminent scholars, Kircher 
accomplished much towards an exposition of the mysteries of the Tablet. The master secret, however, 
eluded even him, as Eliphas Levi has shrewdly noted in his History of Magic. 

"The learned Jesuit, " writes Levi, "divined that it contained the hieroglyphic key to sacred alphabets, 
though he was unable to develop the explanation. It is divided into three equal compartments; above 
are the twelve houses of heaven and below are the corresponding distributions of labor [work periods] 
throughout the year, while in the middle place are twenty-one sacred signs answering to the letters of 
the alphabet. In the midst of all is a seated figure of the pantomorphic lYNX, emblem of universal 
being and corresponding as such to the Hebrew Yod, or to that unique letter from which all the other 
letters were formed. The lYNX is encircled by the Ophite triad, answering to the Three Mother Letters 
of the Egyptian and Hebrew alphabets. On the right are the Ibimorphic and Serapian triads; on the 
left are those of Nepthys and Hecate, representing active and passive, fixed and volatile, fructifying 
fire and generating water. Each pair of triads in conjunction with the center produces a septenary, 
and a septenary is contained in the center. The three septenaries furnish the absolute number of the 
three worlds, as well as the complete number of primitive letters, to which a complementary sign is 
added, like zero to the nine numerals." 

Levi's hint may be construed to mean that the twenty-one figures in the center section of the Table 
represent the twenty-one major trumps of the Tarot cards. If this be so, is not the zero card, cause of 
so much controversy, the nameless crown of the Supreme Mind, the crown being symbolized by the 
hidden triad in the upper part of the throne in the center of the Table? Might not the first emanation 
of this Supreme Mind be well symbolized by a juggler or magician with the symbols of the four lower 
worlds spread out on a table before him: the rod, the sword, the cup, and the coin? Thus considered, 
the zero card belongs nowhere among the others but is in fact the fourth dimensional point from 
which they all emanated and consequently is broken up into the twenty-one cards (letters) which, 
when gathered together, produce the zero. The cipher appearing upon this card would substantiate 
this interpretation, for the cipher, or circle, is emblematic of the superior sphere from which issue the 
lower worlds, powers, and letters. 

Westcott carefully collected the all too meager theories advanced by various authorities and in 1887 
published his now extremely rare volume, which contains the only detailed description of the Isiac 
Tablet published in English since Humphreys translated Montfaucon's worthless description in 1721. 
After explaining his reticence to reveal that which Levi evidently felt was better left concealed, 
Westcott sums up his interpretation of the Tablet as follows: 

"The diagram of Levi, by which he explains the mystery of the Tablet, shows the Upper Region 
divided into the four seasons of the year, each with three signs of the Zodiac, and he has added the 
four-lettered sacred name, the Tetragrammaton, assigning Jod to Aquarius, that is Canopus, He to 
Taurus, that is Apis, Vau to Leo, that is Momphta, and He final to Typhon. Note the Cherubic parallel- 
-Man, Bull, Lion and Eagle. The fourth form is found either as Scorpion or Eagle depending upon the 
Occult good or evil intention: in the Demotic Zodiac, the Snake replaces the Scorpion. 

"The Lower Region he ascribes to the twelve simple Hebrew letters, associating them with the four 
quarters of the horizon. Compare the Sepher Yerzirah, Cap. v., sec. 1. 

"The Central Region he ascribes to the Solar powers and the 


"JT o 3L 


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ft ruiftt tcwa 



If Tftfie JttVTe 





From Levi's History of Magic. 

"The Isiac Tablet, writes Levi, is a Key to the Ancient Book of Thoth, which has survived to some extent the lapse of 
centuries and is pictured to us in the still comparatively ancient set of Tarocchi Cards. To him the Book of Thoth was a 
resume of the esoteric learning of the Egyptians, after the decadence of their civilization, this lore became crystallized in a 
hieroglyphic form as the Tarot; this Tarot having become partially or entirely forgotten or misunderstood, its pictured 
symbols fell into the hands of the sham diviners, and of the providers of the public amusement by games of Cards. The 
modem Tarot, or Tarocchi pack of cards consists of 78 cards, of which 22 form a special group of trumps, of pictorial 
design: the remaining 56 are composed of four suits of 10 numerals and four court cards. King, Queen, Knight, and Knave 
or Valet; the suits are Swords (Militaryism), Cups (Sacerdocy), Clubs or Wands (Agriculture), and Shekels or Coins 
(Commerce), answering respectively to our Spades, Hearts, Clubs and Diamonds. Our purpose is with the 22 trumps, 
these form the special characteristic of the Pack and are the lineal descendants of the Hieroglyphics of the Tarot. These 22 
respond to the letters of the Hebrew and other sacred alphabets, which fall naturally into three classes of a Trio of 
Mothers, a Heptad of doubles, and a duodecad of simple letters. They are also considered as a triad of Heptads and one 
apart, a system of Initiation and an Uninitiate." (See Westcott's The Isiac Tablet.) 

p. 58 

Planetary. In the middle we see above, the Sun, marked Ops, and below it is a Solomon's Seal, above a 
cross; a double triangle Hexapla, one light and one dark triangle superposed, the whole forming a sort 
of complex symbol of Venus. To the Ibimorphos he gives the three dark planets, Venus, Mercury, and 
Mars placed around a dark triangle erect, denoting Fire. To the Nephthsean triad he gives three light 
planets, Saturn, Luna, and Jupiter, around a light inverted triangle which denotes Water. There is a 
necessary connection between water, female power, passive principle, Binah, and Sephirotic Mother, 
and Bride. (See the Kabbalah by Mathers.) Note the ancient signs for the planets were all composed 
of a Cross, Solar Disc and Crescent: Venus is a cross below a Sun disc, Mercury, a disc With a crescent 
above and cross below, Saturn is a Cross whose lowest point touches the apex of the crescent; Jupiter 
is a Crescent whose lowest point touches the left hand end of a cross: all these are deep mysteries. 
Note that Levi in his original plate transposed Serapis and Hecate, but not the Apis noir and Apis 
blanc, perhaps because of the head of Bes being associated by him with Hecate. Note that having 
referred the 12 simple letters to the lower, the 7 double must correspond to the central region of the 
planets, and then the great triad A.M.S. the mother letters representing Air, Water, and Fire remain 
to be pictured, around S the Central lynx, or Yod, by the Ophionian Triad the two Serpents and the 
Leonine Sphynx. Levi's word OPS in the centre is the Latin Ops, Terra, genius of the Earth; and the 
Greek Ops, Rhea, or Kubele (Cybele) often drawn as a goddess seated in a chariot drawn by lions; she 
is crowned with turrets, and holds a Key." (See The Isiac Tablet.) 

The essay published in French by Alexandre Lenoir in 1809, while curious and original, contains little 
real information on the Tablet, which the author seeks to prove was an Egyptian calendar or 
astrological chart. As both Montfaucon and Lenoir~in fact all writers on the subject since i65i~either 
have based their work upon that of Kircher or have been influenced considerably by him, a careful 
translation has been made of the latter's original article (eighty pages of seventeenth century Latin). 
The double-page plate at the beginning of this chapter is a faithful reproduction made by Kircher 
from the engraving in the Museum of Hieroglyphics. The small letters and numbers used to designate 
the figures were added by him to clarify his commentary and will be used for the same purpose in this 

Like nearly all religious and philosophical antiquities, the Bembine Table of Isis has been the subject 
of much controversy. In a footnote, A. E. Waite—unable to differentiate between the true and the 
purported nature or origin of the Tablet—echoes the sentiments of J.G. Wilkinson, another eminent 
exotericus: "The original [Table] is exceedingly late and is roughly termed a forgery." On the other 
hand, Eduard Winkelmann, a man of profound learning, defends the genuineness and antiquity of the 
Tablet. A sincere consideration of the Mensa Isiaca discloses one fact of paramount importance: that 
although whoever fashioned the Table was not necessarily an Egyptian, he was an initiate of the 
highest order, conversant with the most arcane tenets of Hermetic esotericism. 


The following necessarily brief elucidation of the Bembine Table is based upon a digest of the writings 
of Kircher supplemented by other information gleaned by the present author from the mystical 
writings of the Chaldeans, Hebrews, Egyptians, and Greeks. The temples of the Egyptians were so 
designed that the arrangement of chambers, decorations, and utensils was all of symbolic significance, 
as shown by the hieroglyphics that covered them. Beside the altar, which usually was in the center of 
each room, was the cistern of Nile water which flowed in and out through unseen pipes. Here also 
were images of the gods in concatenated series, accompanied by magical inscriptions. In these 
temples, by use of symbols and hieroglyphics, neophytes were instructed in the secrets of the 
sacerdotal caste. 

The Tablet of Isis was originally a table or altar, and its emblems were part of the mysteries explained 
by priests. Tables were dedicated to the various gods and goddesses; in this case Isis was so honored. 
The substances from which the tables were made differed according to the relative dignities of the 
deities. The tables consecrated to Jupiter and Apollo were of gold; those to Diana, Venus, and Juno 
were of silver; those to the other superior gods, of marble; those to the lesser divinities, of wood. 
Tables were also made of metals corresponding to the planets governed by the various celestials. As 
food for the body is spread on a banquet table, so on these sacred altars were spread the symbols 
which, when understood, feed the invisible nature of man. 

In his introduction to the Table, Kircher summarizes its symbolism thus: "It teaches, in the first place, 
the whole constitution of the threefold world—archetypal, intellectual, and sensible. The Supreme 
Divinity is shown moving from the center to the circumference of a universe made up of both sensible 
and inanimate things, all of which are animated and agitated by the one supreme power which they 
call the Father Mind and represented by a threefold symbol. Here also are shown three triads from 
the Supreme One, each manifesting one attribute of the first Trimurti. These triads are called the 
Foundation, or the base of all things. In the Table is also set forth the arrangement and distribution of 
those divine creatures that aid the Father Mind in the control of the universe. Here [in the upper 
panel] are to be seen the Governors of the worlds, each with its fiery, ethereal, and material insignia. 
Here also [in the lower panel] are the Fathers of Fountains, whose duty it is to care for and preserve 
the principles of all things and sustain the inviolable laws of Nature. Here are the gods of the spheres 
and also those who wander from place to place, laboring with all substances and forms (Zonia and 
Azonia), grouped together as figures of both sexes, with their faces turned to their superior deity." 

The Mensa Isiaca, which is divided horizontally into three chambers or panels, may represent the 
ground plan of the chambers in which the Isiac Mysteries were given. The center panel is divided into 
seven parts or lesser rooms, and the lower has two gates, one at each end. The entire Table contains 
forty-five figures of first importance and a number of lesser symbols. The forty-five main figures are 
grouped into fifteen triads, of which four are in the upper panel, seven in the central, and four in the 
lower. According to both Kircher and Levi, the triads are divided in the following manner: 

In the upper section 

1. P, S, V~Mendesian Triad. 

2. X, Z, A~Ammonian Triad. 

3. B, C, D~Momphtaean Triad. 

4. F, G, H-Omphtsean Triad. 
In the center section 

1. G, I, K~Isiac Triad. 

2. L, M, N~Hecatine Triad. 

3. O, Q, R~Ibimorphous Triad. 

4. V, S, W~Ophionic Triad. 

5. X, Y, Z~Nephtaean Triad. 

6. 4 ri, 9~Serapsean Triad. 

7. Y, 8 (not shown), e—Osirian Triad. 
In the lower section 

1. X, M, N~Horaean Triad. 

2. ^, 0, 2~Pandoch£ean Triad. 

3. T, O, X-Thaustic Triad. 

4. W, F, H~7Eluristic Triad. 

Of these fifteen triads Kircher writes: "The figures differ from each other in eight highly important 
respects, i. e., according to form, position, gesture, act, raiment, headdress, staff, and, lastly, 
according to the hieroglyphics placed around them, whether these be flowers, shrubs, small letters or 
animals." These eight symbolic methods of portraying the secret powers of the figures are subtle 
reminders of the eight spiritual senses of cognition by means of which the Real Self in man may be 
comprehended. To express this spiritual truth the Buddhists used the wheel with eight spokes and 
raised their consciousness by means of the noble eightfold path. The ornamented border enclosing 
the three main panels of the Table contains many symbols consisting of birds, animals, reptiles, 
human beings, and composite forms. According to one reading of the Table, this border represents 

the four elements; the creatures are elemental beings. According to another interpretation, the border 

represents the archetypal spheres, and in its frieze of composite figures are the patterns of those 
forms which in various combinations will subsequently manifest themselves in the material world. 
The four flowers at the corners of the Table are those which, because their blossoms always face the 
sun and follow its course across the sky, are sacred emblems of that finer part of man's nature which 
delights in facing its Creator. 

According to the secret doctrine of the Chaldeans, the universe is divided into four states of being 
(planes or spheres): archetypal, intellectual, sidereal, and elemental. Each of these reveals the others; 
the superior controlling the inferior, and the inferior receiving influence from the superior. The 
archetypal plane was considered synonymous with the intellect of the Triune Divinity. Within this 
divine, incorporeal, and eternal sphere are included all the lower manifestations of life-all that is, has 
been, or ever shall be. Within the Kosmic Intellect all things spiritual or material exist as archetypes, 
or divine thought-forms, which is shown in the Table by a chain of secret similes. 

In the middle region of the Table appears the all-form-containing personified Spiritual Essence—the 
source and substance of all things. From this proceed the lower worlds as nine emanations in groups 
of three (the Ophionic, Ibimorphous, and Nephtsean Triads). Consider in this connection the analogy 
of the Qabbalistic Sephiroth, or the nine spheres issuing from Kether, the Crown. The twelve 
Governors of the Universe (the Mendesian, Ammonian, Momphtsean, and Omphteean Triads)-- 
vehicles for the distribution of the creative influences, and shown in the upper region of the Table-are 
directed in their activities by the Divine Mind patterns existing in the archetypal sphere, The 
archetypes are abstract patterns formulated in the Divine Mind and by them all the inferior activities 
are controlled. 

P- 59 

In the lower region of the Table are the Father Fountains (the Horeean, Pandochsean, Thaustic, and 
iEluristic Triads), keepers of the great gates of the universe. These distribute to the lower worlds the 
influences descending from the Governors shown above. 

In the theology of the Egyptians, goodness takes precedence and all things partake of its nature to a 
higher or lower degree. Goodness is sought by all. It is the Prime Cause of causes. Goodness is self- 
diffused and hence exists in all things, for nothing can produce that which it does not have in itself. 
The Table demonstrates that all is in God and God is in all; that all is in all and each is in each. In the 
intellectual world are invisible spiritual counterparts of the creatures which inhabit the elemental 
world. Therefore, the lowest exhibits the highest, the corporeal declares the intellectual, and the 
invisible i,. made manifest by its works. For this reason the Egyptians made images of substances 
existing in the inferior sensible world to serve as visible exemplars of superior and invisible powers. 
To the corruptible images they assigned the virtues of the incorruptible divinities, thus demonstrating 
arcanely that this world is but the shadow of God, the outward picture of the paradise within. All that 
is in the invisible archetypal sphere is revealed in the sensible corporeal world by the light of Nature. 

The Archetypal and Creative Mind—first through its Paternal Foundation and afterwards through 
secondary Gods called Intelligences— poured our the whole infinity of its powers by continuous 
exchange from highest to lowest. In their phallic symbolism the Egyptians used the sperm to 
represent the spiritual spheres, because each contains all that comes forth from it. The Chaldeans and 
Egyptians also held that everything which is a result dwells in the cause of itself and turns to that 
cause as the lotus to the sun. Accordingly, the Supreme Intellect, through its Paternal Foundation, 
first created light— the angelic world. Out of that light were then created the invisible hierarchies of 
beings which some call the stars; and out of the stars the four elements and the sensible world were 
formed. Thus all are in all, after their respective kinds. All visible bodies or elements are in the 
invisible stars or spiritual elements, and the stars are likewise in those bodies; the stars are in the 

angels and the angels in the stars; the angels are in God and God is in all. Therefore, all are divinely in 
the Divine, angelically in the angels, and corporeally in the corporeal world, and vice versa, just as the 
seed is the tree folded up, so the world is God unfolded. 

Proclus says: "Every property of divinity permeates all creation and gives itself to all inferior creatures. 
"One of the manifestations of the Supreme Mind is the power of reproduction according to species 
which it confers upon every creature of which it is the divine part. Thus souls, heavens, elements, 
animals, plants, and stones generate themselves each according to its pattern, but all are dependent 
upon the one fertilizing principle existing in the Supreme Mind. The fecundative power, though of 
itself a unit, manifests differently through the various substances, for in the mineral it contributes to 
material existence, in the plant it manifests as vitality, and in the animal as sensibility. It imparts 
motion to the heavenly bodies, thought to the souls of men, intellectuality to the angels, and 
superessentiality to God. Thus it is seen that all forms are of one substance and all life of one force, 
and these are co-existent in the nature of the Supreme One. 

This doctrine was first expounded by Plato. His disciple, Aristotle, set it forth in these words: "We say 
that this Sensible World is an image of another; therefore since this world is vivid or alive, how much 
more, then, that other must live. * * * Yonder, therefore, above the stellar virtues, stand other heavens 
to be attained, like the heavens of this world; beyond them, because they are of a higher kind, brighter 
and vaster; nor are they distant from each Other like this one, for they are incorporeal. Yonder, too, 
exists an earth, not of inanimate matter, but vivid with animal life and all natural terrestrial 
phenomena like this one, but of other kinds and perfections. There are plants, also, and gardens, and 
flowing water; there are aquatic animals but of nobler species. Yonder is air and life appropriate to it, 
all immortal. And although the life there is analogous to ours, yet it is nobler, seeing that it is 
intellectual, perpetual and unalterable. For if anyone should object and ask, How in the world above 
do the plants, etc. above mentioned find footing, we should answer that they do not have objective 
existence, for they were produced by the primal Author in an absolute condition and without 
exteriorization. They are, therefore, in the same case as intellect and soul; they suffer no defect such 
as waste and corruption, since the beings yonder are full of energy, strength and joy, as living in a life 
sublime and being the issue of one fount and of one quality, compounded of all like sweet savors, 
delicate perfumes, harmonious color and sound, and other perfections. Nor do they move violently 
about nor intermix nor corrupt each other, but each perfectly preserves its own essential character; 
and they are simple and do not multiply as corporeal beings do." 

In the midst of the Table is a great covered throne with a seated female figure representing Isis, but 
here called the Pantomorphic lYNX. G. R. S. Mead defines the lYNX as "a transmitting intelligence." 
Others have declared it to be a symbol of Universal Being. Over the head of the goddess the throne is 
surmounted by a triple crown, and beneath her feet is the house of material substance. The threefold 
crown is here symbolic of the Triune Divinity, called by the Egyptians the Supreme Mind, and 
described in the Sepher ha Zohar as being "hidden and unrevealed." According to the Hebrew system 
of Qabbalism, the Tree of the Sephiroth was divided into two parts, the upper invisible and the lower 
visible. The upper consisted of three parts and the lower of seven. The three uncognizable Sephiroth 
were called Kether, the Crown; Chochmah, Wisdom; and Binah, Understanding. These are too 
abstract to permit of comprehension, whereas the lower seven spheres that came forth from them 
were within the grasp of human consciousness. The central panel contains seven triads of figures. 
These represent the lower Sephiroth, all emanating from the concealed threefold crown over the 

Kircher writes: "The throne denotes the diffusion of the triform Supreme Mind along the universal 
paths of the three worlds. Out of these three intangible spheres emerges the sensible universe, which 
Plutarch calls the 'House of Horns' and the Egyptians, the 'Great Gate of the Gods.' The top of the 
throne is in the midst of diffused serpent-shaped flames, indicating that the Supreme Mind is filled 
with light and life, eternal and incorruptible, removed from all material contact. How the Supreme 

Mind communicated His fire to all creatures is clearly set forth in the symbolism of the Table. The 

Divine Fire is communicated c to lower spheres through the universal power of Nature personified by 
the World Virgin, Isis, here denominated the lYNX, or the polymorphous all-containing Universal 
Idea." The word Idea is here used in its Platonic sense. "Plato believed that there are eternal forms of 
all possible things which exist without matter; and to these eternal and immaterial forms he gave the 
name of ideas. In the Platonic sense, ideas were the patterns according to which the Deity fashioned 
the phenomenal or ectypal world." (Sir W. Hamilton.) 

Kircher describes the 21 figures in the central panel thus: "Seven principal triads, corresponding to 
seven superior worlds, are shown in the central section of the Table. They all originate from the fiery, 
invisible archetype [the triple crown of the throne]. The first, the Ophionic or lYNX Triad, V S W, 
corresponds to the vital and fiery world and is the first intellectual world, called by the ancients the 
Aetherium. Zoroaster says of it: 'Oh, what rigorous rulers this world has!' The second, or Ibimorphous 
Triad, O Q R, corresponds to the second intellectual, or ethereal, world, and is concerned with the 
principle of humidity. The third, or Nephtsean Triad, X Y Z, corresponds to the third intellectual and 
ethereal [world] and is concerned with fecundity. These are the three triads of the ethereal worlds, 
which correspond to the Father Foundation. Then follow the four triads of the sensible, or material, 
worlds, of which the first two correspond to the sidereal worlds, G I K and y 8 8, namely, Osiris and 
Isis, Sun and Moon, indicated by two bulls. They are followed by two triads—the Hecatine, LM N, and 
the Serapsean, ^ r) 9, corresponding to the sublunary and subterranean worlds. These complete the 
seven worlds of primary Genii ruling the natural universe. Psellus quotes Zoroaster: 'The Egyptians 
and the Chaldeans, taught that there were seven corporeal worlds (i. e., worlds ruled by the 
intellectual powers) ;the first is of pure fire; the second, third, and fourth, ethereal; the fifth, sixth, and 
seventh, material; the seventh being the one called terrestrial and hater of light, and is located under 
the Moon, comprising 



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2 I'n jv 

X Y Z 

T f % 

I" ■ if e 

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From Westcott's The Isiac Tablet. 

Zoroaster declared that the number three shines throughout the world. This is revealed in the Bembine, Table by a series 
of triads representing the creative impulses. Of the Isiac Table Alexandre Lenoir writes: "The Isiac Table, as a work of art, 
is not of great interest, it is but a composition, rather cold and insignificant, whose figures, summarily sketched and 
methodically placed near each other, give but little impression of life. But, if on the contrary after examining it, we 
understand the purpose of the author, we become soon convinced that the Isiac Table is an image of the heavenly sphere 
divided in small parts to be used very like, for general teaching. According to that idea, we can conclude that the Isiac 

Table was originally the introduction to a collection followed by the Mysteries of Isis. It was engraved on copper in order 
to be used in the ceremonial of initiation." (See New Essay on the Isiac Table.) 

p. 60 

within itself the matter called fundus, or foundation. 'These seven, plus the one invisible crown, 
constitute the eight worlds. * * * 

"Plato writes that it is needful for the philosopher to know how the seven circles beneath the first one 
are arranged according to the Egyptians. The first triad of fire denotes life; the second, water, over 
which rule the Ibimorphous divinities; and the third, air, ruled by Nephta. From the fire the heavens 
were created, from the water the earth, and air was the mediator between them. In the Sephira 
Yetzirah it is said that from the three originate the seven, i. e., the height, the depth, the East, the 
West, the North, and the South, and the Holy Temple in the center sustaining them all. Is not the 
Holy Temple in the center the great throne of the many-formed Spirit of Nature which is shoAAOi in the 
middle of the Tablet? What are the seven triads but the seven Powers that rule over the world? Psellus 
writes: 'The Egyptians worshipped the triad of faith, truth, and love; and the seven fountains: the Sun 
as ruler—the fountain of matter; then the fountain of the archangels; the fountain of the senses; of 
judgment; of lightning; of reflections; and of characters of unknown composition. They say that the 
highest material fountains are those of Apollo, Osiris, and Mercury— the fountains of the centers of 
the elements. 'Thus, they understood by the Sun as ruler the solar world; by the material archangelic, 
the lunar world; by the fountain of the senses, the world of Saturn; by judgment, Jupiter; by lightning. 
Mars; by that of the reflections, or mirrors, the world of Venus; by the fountain of characters, the 
world of Mercury. All these are shown by the figures in the center pane of the Tablet." 

The upper panel contains the twelve figures of the zodiac arranged in four triads. The center figure in 
each group represents one of the four fixed signs of the zodiac. S is the sign of Aquarius; Z, Taurus; C, 
Leo; and G, Scorpio. These are called the Fathers. In the secret teachings of the Far East these four 
figures— the man, the bull, the lion, and the eagle— are called the winged globes or the four 
Maharajahs who stand upon the corners of creation. The four cardinal signs— P, Capricorn; X, Aries; 
B, Cancer; F, Libra— are called the Powers. The four common signs— V, Pisces; A, Gemini; E, Virgo; H, 
Sagittarius— are called the Minds of the Four Lords. This explains the meaning of the winged globes of 
Egypt, for the four central figures— Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio (called by Ezekiel the 
Cherubim)— are the globes; the cardinal and common signs on either side are the wings. Therefore the 
twelve signs of the zodiac may be symbolized by four globes, each with two wings. 

The celestial triads are further shown by the Egyptians as a globe (the Father) from which issue a 
serpent (the Mind) and wings (the Power). These twelve forces are the fabricators of the world, and 
from them emanate the microcosm, or the mystery of the twelve sacred animals— representing in the 
universe the twelve parts of the world and in man the twelve parts of the human body. Anatomically, 
the twelve figures in the upper panel may well symbolize the twelve convolutions of the brain and the 
twelve figures in the lower panel the twelve zodiacal members and organs of the human body, for man 
is a creature formed of the twelve sacred animals with his members and organs under the direct 
control of the twelve governors or powers resident in the brain. 

A more profound interpretation is found in the correspondences between the twelve figures in the 
upper panel and the twelve in the lower. This furnishes a key to one of the most arcane of ancient 
secrets— the relationship existing between the two great zodiacs the fixed and the movable. The fixed 
zodiac is described as an immense dodecahedron, its twelve surfaces representing the outermost 
walls of abstract space. From each surface of this dodecahedron a great spiritual power, radiating 
inward, becomes embodied as one of the hierarchies of the movable zodiac, which is a band of 
circumambulating so-called fixed stars. Within this movable zodiac are posited the various planetary 
and elemental bodies. The relation of these two zodiacs to the subzodiacal spheres has a correlation in 

the respiratory system of the human body. The great fixed zodiac maybe said to represent the 

atmosphere, the movable zodiac the lungs, and the subzodiacal worlds the body. The spiritual 
atmosphere containing the vivifying energies of the twelve divine powers of the great fixed zodiac is 
inhaled by the cosmic lungs—the movable zodiac—and distributed by them through the constitution 
of the twelve holy animals which are the parts and members of the material universe. The functional 
cycle is completed when the poisonous effluvia of the lower worlds collected by the movable zodiac 
are exhaled into the great fixed zodiac, there to be purified by being passed through the divine natures 
of its twelve eternal hierarchies. 

The Table as a whole is susceptible of many interpretations. If the border of the Table with its 
hieroglyphic figures be accepted as the spiritual source, then the throne in the center represents the 
physical body within which human nature is enthroned. From this point of view the entire Table 
becomes emblematic of the auric bodies of man, with the border as the outer extremity or shell of the 
auric egg. If the throne be accepted as the symbol of the spiritual sphere, the border typifies the 
elements, and the various panels surrounding the central one become emblematic of the worlds or 
planes emanating from the one divine source. If the Table be considered from a purely physical basis, 
the throne becomes symbolic of the generative system and the Table reveals the secret processes of 
embryology as applied to the formation of the material worlds. If a purely physiological and 
anatomical interpretation be desired, the central throne becomes the heart, the Ibimorphous Triad 
the mind, the Nephteean Triad the generative system, and the surrounding hieroglyphics the various 
parts and members of the human body. From the evolutionary viewpoint the central gate becomes the 
point of both entrance and exit. Here also is set forth the process of initiation, in which the candidate 
after passing successfully through the various ordeals is finally brought into the presence of his own 
soul, which he alone is capable of unveiling. 

If cosmogony be the subject of consideration, the central panel represents the spiritual worlds, the 
upper panel the intellectual worlds, and the lower panel the material worlds. The central panel may 
also symbolize the nine invisible worlds, and the creature marked Tthe physical nature— the footstool 
of Isis, the Spirit of Universal Life. Considered in the light of alchemy, the central panel contains the 
metals and the borders the alchemical processes. The figure seated on the throne is the Universal 
Mercury— the "stone of the wise"; the flaming canopy of the throne above is the Divine Sulphur; and 
the cube of earth beneath is the elemental salt. 

The three triads—or the Paternal Foundation— in the central panel represent the Silent Watchers, the 
three invisible parts of the nature of man; the two panels on either side are the quaternary lower 
nature of man. In the central panel are 21 figures. This number is sacred to the sun— which consists of 
three great powers, each with seven attributes— and by Qabbalistic reduction 21 becomes 3, or the 
Great Triad. 

It will yet be proved that the Table of Isis is directly connected with Egyptian Gnosticism, for in a 
Gnostic papyrus preserved in the Bodleian Library there is a direct reference to the twelve Fathers or 
Paternities beneath whom are twelve Fountains. (See Egyptian Magic by S.S.D.D.) That the lower 
panel represents the underworld is further emphasized by the two gates— the great gate of the East 
and the great gate of the West— for in the Chaldean theology the sun rises and sets through gates in 
the underworld, where it wanders during the hours of darkness. As Plato was for thirteen years under 
the instruction of the Magi Patheneith, Ochoaps, Sechtnouphis, and Etymon of Sebbennithis, his 
philosophy consequently is permeated with the Chaldean and Egyptian system of triads. The Bembine 
Table is a diagrammatic exposition of the so-called Platonic philosophy, for in its design is epitomized 
the entire theory of mystic cosmogony and generation. The most valuable guide to the interpretation 
of this Table is the Commentaries ofProclus on the Theology of Plato. The Chaldean Oracles of 
Zoroaster also contains many allusions to the theogonic principles which are demonstrated by the 

The Theogony of Hesiod contains the most complete account of the Greek cosmogony myth. Orphic 
cosmogony has left its impress upon the various forms of philosophy and religion—Greek, Egyptian, 
and Syrian—which it contacted. Chief of the Orphic symbols was the mundane egg from which 
Phanes sprang into light. Thomas Taylor considers the Orphic egg to be synonymous with the mixture 
from bound and infinity mentioned by Plato in the Philebus. The egg is furthermore the third 
Intelligible Triad and the proper symbol of the Demiurgus, whose auric body is the egg of the inferior 

Eusebius, on the authority of Porphyry, declared that the Egyptians acknowledged one intellectual 
Author or Creator of the world under the name of Cneph and that they worshiped him in a statue of 
human form and dark blue complexion, holding in his hand a girdle and a scepter, wearing on his 
head a royal plume, and thrusting forth an egg out of his mouth. (See An Analysis of the Egyptian 
Mythology) While the Bembine Table is rectangular-shaped, it signifies philosophically the Orphic 
egg of the universe with its contents. In the esoteric doctrines the supreme individual achievement is 
the breaking of the Orphic egg, which is equivalent to the return of the spirit to the Nirvana—the 
absolute condition— of the Oriental mystics. 

The New Pantheon by Samuel Boyse contains three plates showing various sections of the Bembine 
Table. The author, however, makes no important contribution to the knowledge of the subject. In The 
Mythology and Fables of the Ancients Explained from History, the Abbe Banier devotes a chapter to 
a consideration of the Mensa Isiaca. After reviewing the conclusions of Montfaucon, Kircher, and 
Pignorius, he adds: "I am of the opinion that: it was a votive table, which some prince or private 
person had consecrated to Isis, as an acknowledgment for some benefit which he believed she had 
conferred upon him." 

p. 61 

Wonders of Antiquity 

IT was a common practice among the early Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans to seal lighted lamps in 
the sepulchers of their dead as offerings to the God of Death. Possibly it was also believed that the 
deceased could use these lights in finding his way through the Valley of the Shadow. Later as the 
custom became generally established, not only actual lamps but miniatures of them in terra cotta 
were buried with the dead. Some of the lamps were enclosed in circular vessels for protection; and 
instances have been recorded in which the original oil was found in them, in a perfect state of 
preservation, after more than 2,000 years. There is ample proof that many of these lamps were 
burning when the sepulchers were sealed, and it has been declared that they were still burning when 
the vaults were opened hundreds of years later. The possibility of preparing a fuel which would renew 
itself as rapidly as it was consumed has been a source of considerable controversy among mediseval 
authors. After due consideration of the evidence at hand, it seems well within the range of possibility 
that the ancient priest-chemists did manufacture lamps that burned, if not indefinitely, at least for 
considerable periods of time. 

Numerous authorities have written on the subject of ever-burning lamps. W. Wynn Westcott 
estimates the number of writers who have given the subject consideration as more than 150, and H. P. 
Blavatsky as 173. While conclusions reached by different authors are at variance, a majority admit the 
existence of these phenomenal lamps. Only a few maintained that the lamps would burn forever, but 
many were willing to concede that they might remain alight for several centuries without 
replenishment of the fuel. Some considered the so-called perpetual lights as mere artifices of the 
crafty pagan priests, while a great many, admitting that the lamps actually burned, made the 
sweeping assertion that the Devil was using this apparent miracle to ensnare the credulous and 
thereby lead their souls to perdition. 

On this subject the learned Jesuit, Athanasius Kircher, usually dependable, exhibits a striking 
inconsistency. In his CEdipus ^gyptiacus he writes: "Not a few of these ever-burning lamps have 
been found to be the devices of devils, * * * And I take it that all the lamps found in the tombs of the 
Gentiles dedicated to the worship of certain gods, were of this kind, not because they burned, or have 
been reported to burn, with a perpetual flame, but because probably the devil set them there, 
maliciously intending thereby to obtain fresh credence for a false worship." 

Having admitted that dependable authorities defend the existence of the ever-burning lamps, and 
that even the Devil lends himself to their manufacture, Kircher next declared the entire theory to be 
desperate and impossible, and to be classed with perpetual motion and the Philosopher's Stone. 
Having already solved the problem to his satisfaction once, Kircher solves it again—but differently—in 
the following words: "In Egypt there are rich deposits of asphalt and petroleum. What did these clever 
fellows [the priests] do, then, but connect an oil deposit by a secret duct with one or more lamps, 
provided with wicks of asbestos! How could such lamps help burning perpetually? * * * In my opinion 
this is the solution of the riddle of the supernatural everlastingness of these ancient lamps." 

Montfaucon, in his Antiquities, agrees in the main with the later deductions of Kircher, believing the 
fabled perpetual lamps of the temples to be cunning mechanical contrivances. He further adds that 
the belief that lamps burned indefinitely in tombs was the result of the noteworthy fact that in some 
cases fumes resembling smoke poured forth from the entrances of newly opened vaults. Parties going 
in later and discovering lamps scattered about the floor assumed that they were the source of the 

There are several interesting stories concerning the discoveries of ever-burning lamps in various parts 
of the world. In a tomb on the Appian Way which was opened during the papacy of Paul III was found 
a burning lamp which had remained alight in a hermetically sealed vault for nearly 1,600 years. 
According to an account written by a contemporary, a body—that of a young and beautiful girl with 
long golden hair —was found floating in an unknown transparent liquid and as well preserved as 
though death had occurred but a few hours before. About the interior of the vault were a number of 
significant objects, which included several lamps, one of them alight. Those entering the sepulcher 
declared that the draft caused by the opening of the door blew out the light and the lamp could not be 
relighted. Kircher reproduces an epitaph, "TULLIOLAE FILIAE MEAE," supposedly found in the 
tomb, but which Montfaucon declares never existed, the latter adding that although conclusive 
evidence was not found, the body was generally believed to be that of TuUiola, the daughter of Cicero. 

Ever-burning lamps have been discovered in all parts of the world. Not only the Mediterranean 
countries but also India, Tibet, China, and South America have contributed records of lights which 
burned continuously without fuel. The examples which follow were selected at random from the 
imposing list of perpetual lamps found in different ages. 

Plutarch wrote of a lamp that burned over the door of a temple to Jupiter Ammon; the priests 
declared that it had remained alight for centuries without fuel. 

St. Augustine described a perpetual lamp, guarded in a temple in Egypt sacred to Venus, which 
neither wind nor water could extinguish. He believed it to be the work of the Devil. 

An ever-burning lamp was found at Edessa, or Antioch, during the reign of the Emperor Justinian. It 
was in a niche over the city gate, elaborately enclosed to protect it from the elements. The date upon it 
proved that the lamp had been burning for more than 500 years. It was destroyed by soldiers. 

During the early Middle Ages a lamp was found in England which had burned since the third century 
after Christ. The monument containing it was believed to be the tomb of the father of Constantine the 

The Lantern of Pallas was discovered near Rome in A.D. 1401. It was found in the sepulcher of Pallas, 
son of Evander, immortalized by Virgil in his ^nezd. The lamp was placed at the head of the body and 
had burned with a steady glow for more than 2,000 years. 

In A.D. 1550 on the island of Nesis, in the Bay of Naples, a magnificent marble vault was opened in 
which was found a lamp still alight which had been placed there before the beginning of the Christian 

Pausanias described a beautiful golden lamp in the temple of Minerva which burned steadily for a 
year without refueling or having the wick trimmed. The ceremony of filling the lamp took place 
annually, and time was measured by the ceremony. 

According to the Fama Fraternitatis, the crypt of Christian Rosencreutz when opened 120 years after 
his death was found to be brilliantly illuminated by a perpetual lamp suspended from the ceiling. 

Numa Pompilius, King of Rome and magician of considerable power, caused a perpetual light to burn 
in the dome of a temple he had created in honor of an elemental being. 

In England a curious tomb was found containing 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities. 

The windings of these serpents formed the base, and the three heads sustained the three feet of the tripod. It is impossible 
to secure satisfactory information concerning the shape and size of the celebrated Delphian tripod. Theories concerning it 
are based (in most part) upon small ornamental tripods discovered in various temples. 


From Beaumont's Gleanings of Antiquities. 

According to Beaumont, the above is the most authentic form of the Delphian tripod extant; but as the tripod must have 
changed considerably during the life of the oracle, hasty conclusions are unwise. In his description of the tripod, 
Beaumont divides it into four Parts: (i) a frame with three (2), a reverberating basin or bowl set in the frame; (e) a flat 
plate or table upon which the Pythia sat; and (4) a cone-shaped cover over the table, which completely concealed the 
priestess and from beneath which her voice sounded forth in weird and hollow tones. Attempts have been made to relate 
the Delphian tripod with the Jewish Ark of the Covenant. The frame of three legs was likened to the Ark of the Covenant; 
the flat plate or table to the Mercy Seat; and the cone-shaped covering to the tent of the Tabernacle itself. This entire 

conception differs widely from that popularly accepted, but discloses a valuable analogy between Jewish and Greek 

p. 62 

an automaton which moved when certain stones in the floor of the vault were stepped upon by an 
intruder. At that time the Rosicrucian controversy was at its height, so it was decided that the tomb 
was that of a Rosicrucian initiate. A countryman, discovering the tomb and entering, found the 
interior brilliantly lighted by a lamp hanging from the ceiling. As he walked, his weight depressed 
some of the floor stones. At once a seated figure in heavy armor began to move. Mechanically it rose 
to its feet and struck the lamp with an iron baton, completely destroying it, and thus effectually 
preventing the discovery of the secret substance which maintained the flame. How long the lamp had 
burned is unknown, but certainly it had been for a considerable number of years. 

It is related that among the tombs near Memphis and in the Brahmin temples of India lights have 
been found in sealed chambers and vessels, but sudden exposure to the air has extinguished them and 
caused their fuel to evaporate. 

It is now believed that the wicks of these perpetual lamps were made of braided or woven asbestos, 
called by the alchemists salamander's wool, and that the fuel was one of the products of alchemical 
research. Kircher attempted to extract oil from asbestos, being convinced that as the substance itself 
was indestructible by fire an oil extracted from it would supply the lamp with a fuel likewise 
indestructible. After spending two years in fruitless experimental work, he concluded that the task 
was impossible of accomplishment. 

Several formulae for the making of the fuel for the lamps have been preserved. In Isis Unveiled, H. P. 
Blavatsky reprints two of these formulee from early authors—Tritenheim and Bartolomeo Korndorf. 
One will suffice to give a general understanding of the process: 

"Sulphur. Alum ust. a □ iv.; sublime them into flowers to □ ij., of which add of crystalline Venetian 
borax (powdered) □ j.; upon these affuse high rectified spirit of wine and digest it, then abstract it 
and pour on fresh; repeat this so often till the sulphur melts like wax without any smoke, upon a hot 
plate of brass: this is for the pabulum, but the wick is to be prepared after this manner: gather the 
threads or thrums of the Lapis asbestos, to the thickness of your middle and the length of your little 
finger, then put them into a Venetian glass, and covering them over with the aforesaid depurated 
sulphur or aliment set the glass in sand for the space of twenty-four hours, so hot that the sulphur 
may bubble all the while. The wick being thus besmeared and anointed, is to be put into a glass like a 
scallop-shell, in such manner that some part of it may lie above the mass of prepared sulphur; then 
setting this glass upon hot sand, you must melt the sulphur, so that it may lay hold of the wick, and 
when it is lighted, it will burn with a perpetual flame and you may set this lamp in any place where 
you please." 


The worship of Apollo included the establishment and maintenance of places of prophecy by means of 
which the gods could communicate with mankind and reveal futurity to such as deserved the boon. 
The early history of Greece abounds with accounts of talking trees, rivers, statues, and caves in which 
nymphs, dryads, or dsemons had taken up their abodes and from which they delivered oracles. While 
Christian authors have tried to prove that oracular revelations were delivered by the Devil for the 
purpose of misleading humanity, they have not dared to attack the theory of oracles, because of the 
repeated reference to it in their own sacred writings. If the onyx stones on the shoulders of Israel's 
high priest made known by their flashings the will of Jehovah, then a black dove, temporarily 
endowed with the faculty of speech, could indeed pronounce oracles in the temple of Jupiter Ammon. 

If the witch of Endor could invoke the shade of Samuel, who in turn gave prophecies to Saul, could 
not a priestess of Apollo call up the specter of her liege to foretell the destiny of Greece? 

The most famous oracles of antiquity were those of Delphi, Dodona, Trophonius, and Latona, of 
which the talking oak trees of Dodona were the oldest. Though it is impossible to trace back to the 
genesis of the theory of oracular prophecy, it is known that many of the caves and fissures set aside by 
the Greeks as oracles were sacred long before the rise of Greek culture. 

The oracle of Apollo at Delphi remains one of the unsolved mysteries of the ancients. Alexander 
Wilder derives the name Delphi from delphos, the womb. This name was chosen by the Greeks be 
cause of the shape of the cavern and the vent leading into the depths of the earth. The original name 
of the oracle was Pytho, so called because its chambers had been the abode of the great serpent 
Python, a fearsome creature that had crept out of the slime left by the receding flood that had 
destroyed all human beings except Deucalion and Pyrrha. Apollo, climbing the side of Mount 
Parnassus, slew the serpent after a prolonged combat, and threw the body down the fissure of the 
oracle. From that time the Sun God, surnamed the Pythian Apollo, gave oracles from the vent. With 
Dionysos he shared the honor of being the patron god of Delphi. 

After being vanquished by Apollo, the spirit of Python remained at Delphi as the representative of his 
conqueror, and it was with the aid of his effluvium that the priestess was able to become en rapport 
with the god. The fumes rising from the fissure of the oracle were supposed to come from the 
decaying body of Python. The name Pythoness, or Pythia, given to the female hierophant of the oracle, 
means literally one who has been thrown into a religious frenzy by inhaling fumes rising from 
decomposing matter. It is of further interest to note that the Greeks believed the oracle of Delphi to 
be the umbilicus of the earth, thus proving that they considered the planet an immense human being. 
The connection between the principle of oracular revelation and the occult significance of the navel is 
an important secret belonging to the ancient Mysteries. 

The oracle, however, is much older than the foregoing account indicates. A story of this kind was 
probably invented by the priests to explain the phenomena to those inquisitive persons whom they 
did not consider worthy of enlightenment regarding the true esoteric nature of the oracle. Some 
believe that the Delphic fissure was discovered by a Hypoborean priest, but as far back as recorded 
history goes the cave was sacred, and persons came from all parts of Greece and the surrounding 
countries to question the daemon who dwelt in its chimney-like vent. Priests and priestesses guarded 
it closely and served the spirit who dwelt therein and who enlightened humanity through the gift of 

The story of the original discovery of the oracle is somewhat as follows: Shepherds tending their 
flocks on the side of Mount Parnassus were amazed at the peculiar antics of goats that wandered close 
to a great chasm on its southwestern spur. The animals jumped about as though trying to dance, and 
emitted strange cries unlike anything before heard. At last one of the shepherds, curious to learn the 
cause of the phenomenon, approached the vent, from which were rising noxious fumes. Immediately 
he was seized with a prophetic ecstasy; he danced with wild abandon, sang, jabbered inarticulate 
sounds, and foretold future events. Others went close to the fissure, with the same result. The fame of 
the place spread, and many came to learn of the future by inhaling the mephitic fumes, which 
exhilarated to the verge of delirium. 

Some of those who came, being unable to control themselves, and having temporarily the strength of 
madmen, tore themselves from those seeking to restrain them, and, jumping into the vent, perished. 
In order to prevent others from doing likewise, a wall was erected around the fissure and a prophetess 
was appointed to act as mediator between the oracle and those who came to question it. According to 
later authorities, a tripod of gold, ornamented with carvings of Apollo in the form of Python, the great 
serpent, was placed over the cleft, and on this was arranged a specially prepared seat, so constructed 

that a person would have difficulty in falling off while under the influence of the oracular fumes, just 
before this time, a story had been circulated that the fumes of the oracle arose from the decaying body 
of Python. It is possible that the oracle revealed its own origin. 

For many centuries during its early history, virgin maidens were consecrated to the service of the 
oracle. They were called the Phoebades, or Pythige, and constituted that famous order now known as 
the Pythian priesthood. It is probable that women were chosen to receive the oracles because their 
sensitive and emotional nature responded 


From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum. 

Apollo, the twin brother of Diana, was the son of Jupiter and Latona. Apollo was fully adult at the time of his birth. He was 
considered to be the first physician and the inventor of music and song. The Greeks also acclaimed him to be father of the 
bow and arrow. The famous temple of Apollo at Delphi was rebuilt five times. The first temple was formed only of laurel 
branches; the second was somewhat similar; the third was brass and the fourth and fifth were probably of marble, of 
considerable size and great beauty. No other oracle in Greece equaled in magnificence that of Delphi in the zenith of its 
power. Writers declared that it contained many statues of solid gold and silver, marvelous ornaments, and implements of 
the most valuable materials and beautiful workmanship, donated by princes and kings who came from all parts of the 
civilized world to consult the spirit of Apollo dwelling in this sanctuary. 


more quickly and completely to "the fumes of enthusiasm." Three days before the time set to receive 
the communications from Apollo, the virgin priestess began the ceremony of purification. She bathed 
in the Castalian well, abstained from all food, drank only from the fountain of Cassotis, which was 
brought into the temple through concealed pipes, and just before mounting the tripod, she chewed a 
few leaves of the sacred bay tree. It has been said that the water was drugged to bring on distorted 
visions, or the priests of Delphi were able to manufacture an exhilarating and intoxicating gas, which 
they conducted by subterranean ducts and released into the shaft of the oracle several feet below the 
surface. Neither of these theories has been proved, however, nor does either in anyway explain the 
accuracy of the predictions. 

When the young prophetess had completed the process of purification, she was clothed in sanctified 
raiment and led to the tripod, upon which she seated herself, surrounded by the noxious vapors rising 
from the yawning fissure. Gradually, as she inhaled the fumes, a change came over her. It was as if a 
different spirit had entered her body. She struggled, tore her clothing, and uttered inarticulate cries. 
After a time her struggles ceased. Upon becoming calm a great majesty seemed to posses her, and 
with eyes fixed on space and body rigid, she uttered the prophetic words. The predictions were 
usually in the form of hexameter verse, but the words were often ambiguous and sometimes 
unintelligible. Every sound that she made, every motion of her body, was carefully recorded by the 
five Hosii, or holy men, who were appointed as scribes to preserve the minutest details of each 
divination. The Hosii were appointed for life, and were chosen from the direct descendants of 

After the oracle was delivered, the Pjithia began to struggle again, and the spirit released her. She was 
then carried or supported to a chamber of rest, where she remained till the nervous ecstasy had 
passed away. 

lamblichus, in his dissertation on The Mysteries, describes how the spirit of the oracle~a fiery 
daemon, even Apollo himself —took control of the Pythoness and manifested through her: "But the 
prophetess in Delphi, whether she gives oracles to mankind through an attenuated and fiery spirit, 
bursting from the mouth of the cavern; or whether being seated in the adytum on a brazen tripod, or 
on a stool with four feet, she becomes sacred to the God; whichsoever of these is the case, she entirely 
gives herself up to a divine spirit, and is illuminated with a ray of divine fire. And when, indeed, fire 
ascending from the mouth of the cavern circularly invests her in collected abundance, she becomes 
filled from it with a divine splendour. But when she places herself on the seat of the God, she becomes 
co-adapted to his stable prophetic power: and from both of these preparatory operations she becomes 
wholly possessed by the God. And then, indeed, he is present with and illuminates her in a separate 
manner, and is different from the lire, the spirit, the proper seat, and, in short, from all the visible 
apparatus of the place, whether physical or sacred." 

Among the celebrities who visited the oracle of Delphi were the immortal Apollonius of Tyana and his 
disciple Damis. He made his offerings and, after being crowned with a laurel wreath and given a 
branch of the same plant to carry in his hand, he passed behind the statue of Apollo which stood 
before the entrance to the cave, and descended into the sacred place of the oracle. The priestess was 
also crowned with laurel and her head bound with a band of white wool. Apollonius asked the oracle 
if his name would be remembered by future generations. The Pythoness answered in the affirmative, 
but declared that it would always be calumniated. Apollonius left the cavern in anger, but time has 
proved the accuracy of the prediction, for the early church fathers perpetuated the name of 
Apollonius as the Antichrist. (For details of the story see Histoire de la Magie.) 

The messages given by the virgin prophetess were turned over to the philosophers of the oracle, 
whose duty it was to interpret and apply them. The communications were then delivered to the poets, 
who immediately translated them into odes and lyrics, setting forth in exquisite form the statements 
supposedly made by Apollo and making them available for the populace. 

Serpents were much in evidence at the oracle of Delphi. The base of the tripod upon which the Pythia 
sat was formed of the twisted bodies of three gigantic snakes. According to some authorities, one of 
the processes used to produce the prophetic ecstasy was to force the young priestess to gaze into the 
eyes of a serpent. Fascinated and hypnotized, she then spoke with the voice of the god. 

Although the early Pythian priestesses were always maidens—some still in their teens—a law was later 
enacted that only women past fifty years of age should be the mouthpiece of the oracle. These older 
women dressed as young girls and went through the same ceremonial as the first Pjithiae. The change 

was probably the indirect result of a series of assaults made upon the persons of the priestesses by the 

During the early history of the Delphian oracle the god spoke only at each seventh birthday of Apollo. 
As time went on, however, the demand became so great that the Pjithia was forced to seat herself 
upon the tripod every month. The times selected for the consultation and the questions to be asked 
were determined by lot or by vote of the inhabitants of Delphi. 

It is generally admitted that the effect of the Delphian oracle upon Greek culture was profoundly 
constructive. James Gardner sums up its influence in the following words: "It responses revealed 
many a tyrant and foretold his fate. Through its means many an unhappy being was saved from 
destruction and many a perplexed mortal guided in the right way. It encouraged useful institutions, 
and promoted the progress of useful discoveries. Its moral influence was on the side of virtue, and its 
political influence in favor of the advancement of civil liberty." (See The Faiths of The World.) 

The oracle of Dodona was presided over by Jupiter, who uttered prophecies through oak trees, birds, 
and vases of brass. Many writers have noted the similarities between the rituals of Dodona and those 
of the Druid priests of Britain and Gaul. The famous oracular dove of Dodona, alighting upon the 
branches of the sacred oaks, not only discoursed at length in the Greek tongue upon philosophy and 
religion, but also answered the queries of those who came from distant places to consult it. 

The "talking" trees stood together, forming a sacred grove. When the priests desired answers to 
important questions, after careful and solemn purifications they retired to the grove. They then 
accosted the trees, beseeching a reply from the god who dwelt therein. When they had stated their 
questions, the trees spoke with the voices of human beings, revealing to the priests the desired 
information. Some assert that there was but one tree which spoke—an oak or a beech standing in the 
very heart of the ancient grove. Because Jupiter was believed to inhabit this tree he was sometimes 
called Phegonaeus, or one who lives in a beech tree. 

Most curious of the oracles of Dodona were the "talking" vases, or kettles. These were made of brass 
and so carefully fashioned that when struck they gave off sound for hours. Some writers have 
described a row of these vases and have declared that if one of them was struck its vibrations would 
be communicated to all the others and a terrifying din ensue. Other authors describe a large single 
vase, standing upon a pillar, near which stood another column, supporting the statue of a child 
holding a whip. At the end of the whip were a number of swinging cords tipped with small metal balls, 
and the wind, which blew incessantly through the open building, caused the balls to strike against the 
vase. The number and intensity of the impacts and the reverberations of the vase were all carefully 
noted, and the priests delivered their oracles accordingly. 

When the original priests of Dodona~the 5e//o2~mysteriously vanished, the oracle was served for 
many centuries by three priestesses who interpreted the vases and at midnight interrogated the 
sacred trees. The patrons of the oracles were expected to bring offerings and to make contributions. 

Another remarkable oracle was the Cave of Trophonius, which stood upon the side of a hill with an 
entrance so small that it seemed impossible for a human being to enter. After the consultant had 
made his offering at the statue of Trophonius and had donned the sanctified garments, he climbed the 
hill to the cave, carrying in one hand a cake of honey. Sitting down at the edge of the opening, he 
lowered his feet into the cavern. Thereupon his entire body was precipitately 


From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum. 

Jupiter was called Dodonean after the city of Dodona in Epirus. Near this city was a hill thickly covered with oak trees 
which from the most ancient times had been sacred to Jupiter. The grove was further venerated because dryads, fauns, 
satyrs, and nymphs were believed to dwell in its depths. From the ancient oaks and beeches were hung many chains of 
tiny bronze bells which tinkled day and night as the wind swayed the branches. Some assert that the celebrated talking 
dove of Dodona was in reality a woman, because in Thessaly both prophetesses and doves were called Peleiadas. It is 
supposed that the first temple of Dodona was erected by Deucalion and those who survived the great flood with him. For 
this reason the oracle at Dodona was considered the oldest in Greece. 

p. 64 

drawn into the cave, which was described by those who had entered it as having only the dimensions 
of a fair-sized oven. When the oracle had completed its revelation, the consultant, usually delirious, 
was forcibly ejected from the cave, feet foremost. 

Near the cave of the oracle two fountains bubbled out of the earth within a few feet of each other. 
Those about to enter the cave drank first from these fountains, the waters of which seemed to possess 
peculiar occult properties. The first contained the water of forgetfulness, and all who drank thereof 
forgot their earthly sorrows. From the second fountain flowed the sacred water of Mnemosyne, or 
remembrance, for later it enabled those who partook of it to recall their experiences while in the cave. 

Though its entrance was marked by two brass obelisks, the cave, surrounded by a wall of white stones 
and concealed in the heart of a grove of sacred trees, did not present an imposing appearance. There 
is no doubt that those entering it passed through strange experiences, for they were obliged to leave at 
the adjacent temple a complete account of what they saw and heard while in the oracle. The 
prophecies were given in the form of dreams and visions, and were accompanied by severe pains in 
the head; some never completely recovered from the after effects of their delirium. The confused 
recital of their experiences was interpreted by the priests according to the question to be answered. 
While the priests probably used some unknown herb to produce the dreams or visions of the cavern, 
their skill in interpreting them bordered on the Supernatural. Before consulting the oracle, it was 

necessary to offer a ram to the daemon of the cave, and the priest decided by hieromanqr whether the 
time chosen was propitious and the sacrifice was satisfactory. 


Many of the sculptors and architects of the ancient world were initiates of the Mysteries, particularly 
the Eleusinian rites. Since the dawn of time, the truers of stone and the hewers of wood have 
constituted a divinely overshadowed caste. As civilization spread slowly over the earth, cities were 
built and deserted; monuments were erected to heroes at present unknown; temples were built to 
gods who lie broken in the dust of the nations they inspired. Research has proved not only that the 
builders of these cities and monuments and the sculptors who chiseled out the inscrutable faces of the 
gods were masters of their crafts, but that in the world today there are none to equal them. The 
profound knowledge of mathematics and astronomy embodied in ancient architecture, and the 
equally profound knowledge of anatomy revealed in Greek statuary, prove that the fashioners of both 
were master minds, deeply cultured in the wisdom which constituted the arcana of the 
Mysteries .Thus was established the Guild of the Builders, progenitors of modern Freemasons. When 
employed to build palaces, temples or combs, or to carve statues for the wealthy, those initiated 
architects and artists concealed in their works the secret doctrine, so that now, long after their bones 
have returned to dust, the world realizes that those first artisans were indeed duly initiated and 
worthy to receive the wages of Master Masons. 

The Seven Wonders of the World, while apparently designed for divers reasons, were really 
monuments erected to perpetuate the arcana of the Mysteries. They were symbolic structures, placed 
in peculiar spots, and the real purpose of their erection can be sensed only by the initiated. Eliphas 
Levi has noted the marked correspondence between these Seven Wonders and the seven planets. The 
Seven Wonders of the World were built by Widow's sons in honor of the seven planetary genii. Their 
secret symbolism is identical with that of the seven seals of Revelation and the seven churches of Asia. 

1. The Colossus of Rhodes, a gigantic brass statue about 109 feet in height and requiring over twelve 
years to build, was the work of an initiated artist. Chares of Lindus. The popular theory—accepted for 
several hundred years—that the figure stood with one foot on each side of the entrance to the harbor 
of Rhodes and that full-rigged ships passed between its feet, has never been substantiated. 
Unfortunately, the figure remained standing but fifty-six years, being thrown down by an earthquake 
in 224 B.C. The shattered parts of the Colossus lay scattered about the ground for more than 900 
years, when they were finally sold to a Jewish merchant, who carried the metal away on the backs of 
700 camels. Some believed that the brass was converted into munitions and others that it was made 
into drainage pipes. This gigantic gilded figure, with its crown of solar rays and its upraised torch, 
signified occultly the glorious Sun Man of the Mysteries, the Universal Savior. 

2. The architect Ctesiphon, in the fifth century B.C., submitted to the Ionian cities a plan for erecting 
a joint monument to their patron goddess, Diana. The place chosen was Ephesus, a city south of 
Smyrna. The building was constructed of marble. The roof was supported by 127 columns, each 60 
feet high and weighing over 150 tons. The temple was destroyed by black magic about 356 B.C., but 
the world fixes the odious crime upon the tool by means of which the destruction was accomplished— 
a mentally deranged man named Herostratus. It was later rebuilt, but the symbolism was lost. The 
original temple, designed as a miniature of the universe, was dedicated to the moon, the occult 
symbol of generation. 

3. Upon his exile from Athens, Phidias— the greatest of all the Greek sculptors— went to Olympia in the 
province of Elis and there designed his colossal statue of Zeus, chief of the gods of Greece. There is 
not even an accurate description of this masterpiece now in existence; only a few old coins give an 
inadequate idea of its general appearance. The body of the god was overlaid with ivory and the robes 
were of beaten gold. In one hand he is supposed to have held a globe supporting a figure of the 

Goddess of Victory, in the other a scepter surmounted by an eagle. The head of Zeus was archaic, 
heavily bearded, and crowned with an olive wreath. The statue was seated upon an elaborately 
decorated throne. As its name implies, the monument was dedicated to the spirit of the planet 
Jupiter,~one of the seven Logi who bow before the Lord of the Sun. 

4. Eliphas Levi includes the Temple of Solomon among the Seven Wonders of the World, giving it the 
place occupied by the Pharos, or Lighthouse, of Alexandria. The Pharos, named for the island upon 
which it stood, was designed and constructed by Sostratus of Cnidus during the reign of Ptolemy 
(283-247 B.C.). It is described as being of white marble and over 600 feet high. Even in that ancient 
day it cost nearly a million dollars. Fires were lighted in the top of it and could be seen for miles out at 
sea. It was destroyed by an earthquake in the thirteenth century, but remains of it were visible until 

A. D. 1350. Being the tallest of all the Wonders, it: was naturally assigned to Saturn, the Father of the 
gods and the true illuminator of all humanity. 

5. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus was a magnificent monument erected by Queen Artemisia in 
memory of her dead husband. King Mausolus, from whose name the word mausoleum is derived. The 
designers of the building were Satyrus and P5l;his, and four great sculptors were employed to 
ornament the edifice. The building, which was 114 feet long and 92 feet wide, was divided into five 
major sections (the senses) and surmounted by a pyramid (the spiritual nature of man). The pyramid 
rose in 24 steps (a sacred number), and upon the apex was a statue of King Mausolus in a chariot. His 
figure was 9 feet 9V2 inches tall. Many attempts have been made to reconstruct the monument, which, 
was destroyed by an earthquake, but none has been altogether successful. This monument was sacred 
to the planet Mars and was built by an initiate for the enlightenment of the world. 

6. The Gardens of Semiramis at Babylon—more commonly known as the Hanging Gardens—stood 
within the palace grounds of Nebuchadnezzar, near the Euphrates River. They rose in a terrace-like 

pyramid and on the top was a reservoir for the watering of the gardens. They were built about 600 

B. C., but the name of the landscape artist has not been preserved. They symbolized the planes of the 
invisible world, and were consecrated to Venus as the goddess of love and beauty. 

7. The Great Pyramid was supreme among the temples of the Mysteries. In order to be true to its 
astronomical symbolism, it must have been constructed about 70,000 years ago. It was the tomb of 
Osiris, and was believed to have been built by the gods themselves, and the architect may have been 
the immortal Hermes. It is the monument of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, and the universal 
symbol of wisdom and letters. 


from Historia Deorum Fatidicorum. 

Trophonius and his brother Agamedes were famous architects. While building a certain treasure vault, they contrived to 
leave one stone movable so that they might secretly enter and steal the valuables stored there. A trap was set by the owner, 
who had discovered the plot, and Agamedes was caught. To prevent discovery, Trophonius decapitated his brother and 
fled, hotly pursued. He hid in the grove of Lebadia, where the earth opened and swallowed him up. The spirit of 
Trophonius thereafter delivered oracles in the grove and its caverns. The name Trophonius means "to be agitated, excited, 
or roiled." It was declared that the terrible experiences through which consultants passed in the oracular caverns so 
affected them that they never smiled again. The bees which accompany the figure of Trophonius were sacred because they 
led the first envoys from Boetia to the site of the oracle. The figure above is said to be a production of a statue of 
Trophonius which was placed on the brow of the hill above the oracle and surrounded with sharply pointed stakes that it 
could not be touched. 


The Life and Philosophy of Pythagoras 

WHILE Mnesarchus, the father of Pythagoras, was in the city of Delphi on matters pertaining to his 
business as a merchant, he and his wife, Parthenis, decided to consult the oracle of Delphi as to 
whether the Fates were favorable for their return voyage to Syria. When the Pythoness (prophetess of 
Apollo) seated herself on the golden tripod over the yawning vent of the oracle, she did not answer the 
question they had asked, but told Mnesarchus that his wife was then with child and would give birth 
to a son who was destined to surpass all men in beauty and wisdom, and who throughout the course 
of his life would contribute much to the benefit of mankind. Mnesarchus was so deeply impressed by 
the prophecy that he changed his wife's name to Pythasis, in honor of the Pythian priestess. When the 
child was born at Sidon in Phoenicia, it was—as the oracle had said~a son. Mnesarchus and Pythasis 
named the child Pythagoras, for they believed that he had been predestined by the oracle. 

Many strange legends have been preserved concerning the birth of Pythagoras. Some maintained that 
he was no mortal man: that he was one of the gods who had taken a human body to enable him to 
come into the world and instruct the human race. Pythagoras was one of the many sages and saviors 
of antiquity for whom an immaculate conception is asserted. In his Anacalypsis, Godfrey Higgins 
writes: "The first striking circumstance in which the history of Pythagoras agrees with the history of 
Jesus is, that they were natives of nearly the same country; the former being born at Sidon, the latter 
at Bethlehem, both in Syria. The father of Pythagoras, as well as the father of Jesus, was prophetically 
informed that his wife should bring forth a son, who should be a benefactor to mankind. They were 
both born when their mothers were from home on journeys, Joseph and his wife having gone up to 
Bethlehem to be taxed, and the father of Pythagoras having travelled from Samos, his residence, to 
Sidon, about his mercantile concerns. Pythais [Pythasis], the mother of Pythagoras, had a connexion 
with an ApoUoniacal spectre, or ghost, of the God Apollo, or God Sol, (of course this must have been a 
holy ghost, and here we have the Holy Ghost) which afterward appeared to her husband, and told him 
that he must have no connexion with his wife during her pregnancy—a story evidently the same as 
that relating to Joseph and Mary. From these peculiar circumstances, Pythagoras was known by the 
same title as Jesus, namely, the son of God; and was supposed by the multitude to be under the 
influence of Divine inspiration." 

This most famous philosopher was born sometime between 600 and 590 B.C., and the length of his 
life has been estimated at nearly one hundred years. 

The teachings of Pythagoras indicate that he was thoroughly conversant with the precepts of Oriental 
and Occidental esotericism. He traveled among the Jews and was instructed by the Rabbins 
concerning the secret traditions of Moses, the lawgiver of Israel. Later the School of the Essenes was 
conducted chiefly for the purpose of interpreting the Pythagorean symbols. Pythagoras was initiated 
into the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Chaldean Mysteries. Although it is believed by some that he was a 
disciple of Zoroaster, it is doubtful whether his instructor of that name was the God-man now revered 
by the Parsees. While accounts of his travels differ, historians agree that he visited many countries 
and studied at the feet of many masters. 

"After having acquired all which it was possible for him to learn of the Greek philosophers and, 
presumably, become an initiate in the Eleusinian mysteries, he went to Egypt, and after many rebuffs 
and refusals, finally succeeded in securing initiation in the Mysteries of Isis, at the hands of the 
priests of Thebes. Then this intrepid 'joiner' wended his way into Phoenicia and Syria where the 
Mysteries of Adonis were conferred upon him, and crossing to the valley of the Euphrates he tarried 
long enough to become versed in, the secret lore of the Chaldeans, who still dwelt in the vicinity of 
Babylon. Finally, he made his greatest and most historic venture through Media and Persia into 

Hindustan where he remained several years as a pupil and initiate of the learned Brahmins of 

Elephanta and Ellora." (See Ancient Freemasonry, by Frank C. Higgins, 32°.) The same author adds 
that the name of Pythagoras is still preserved in the records of the Brahmins as Yavancharya, the 
Ionian Teacher. 

Pythagoras was said to have been the first man to call himself a philosopher; in fact, the world is 
indebted to him for the word philosopher. Before that time the wise men had called themselves sages, 
which was interpreted to mean those who know. Pythagoras was more modest. He coined the word 
philosopher, which he defined as one who is attempting to find out. 

After returning from his wanderings, Pythagoras established a school, or as it has been sometimes 
called, a university, at Crotona, a Dorian colony in Southern Italy. Upon his arrival at Crotona he was 
regarded askance, but after a short time those holding important positions in the surrounding 
colonies sought his counsel in matters of great moment. He gathered around him a small group of 
sincere disciples whom he instructed in the secret wisdom which had been revealed to him, and also 
in the fundamentals of occult mathematics, music, and astronomy, which he considered to be the 
triangular foundation of all the arts and sciences. 

When he was about sixty years old, Pythagoras married one of his disciples, and seven children 
resulted from the union. His wife was a remarkably able woman, who not only inspired him during 
the years of his life but after his assassination continued to promulgate his doctrines. 

As is so often the case with genius, Pythagoras by his outspokenness incurred both political and 
personal enmity. Among those who came for initiation was one who, because Pythagoras refused to 
admit him, determined to destroy both the man and his philosophy. By means of false propaganda, 
this disgruntled one turned the minds of the common people against the philosopher. Without 
warning, a band of murderers descended upon the little group of buildings where the great teacher 
and his disciples dwelt, burned the structures and killed Pythagoras. 

Accounts of the philosopher's death do not agree. Some say that he was murdered with his disciples; 
others that, on escaping from Crotona with a small band of followers, he was trapped and burned 
alive by his enemies in a little house where the band had decided to rest for the night. Another 
account states that, finding themselves trapped in the burning structure, the disciples threw 
themselves into the flames, making of their own bodies a bridge over which Pythagoras escaped, only 
to die of a broken heart a short time afterwards as the result of grieving over the apparent 
fruitlessness of his efforts to serve and illuminate mankind. 

His surviving disciples attempted to perpetuate his doctrines, but they were persecuted on every hand 
and very little remains today as a testimonial to the greatness of this philosopher. It is said that the 
disciples of Pythagoras never addressed him or referred to him by his own name, but always as The 
Master or That Man. This may have been because of the fact that the name Pythagoras was believed 
to consist of a certain number of specially arranged letters with great sacred significance. The 
Word magazine has printed an article by T. R. Prater, showing that Pjfthagoras initiated his 
candidates by means of a certain formula concealed within 


From Historia Deorum Fatidicorum. 

During his youth, Pythagoras was a disciple of Pherecydes and Hermodamas, and while in his teens became renowned for 
the clarity of his philosophic concepts. In height he exceeded six feet; his body was as perfectly formed as that of Apollo. 
Pythagoras was the personification of majesty and power, and in his presence a felt humble and afraid. As he grew older, 
his physical power increased rather than waned, so that as he approached the century mark he was actually in the prime 
of life. The influence of this great soul over those about him was such that a word of praise from P5^hagoras filled his 
disciples with ecstasy, while one committed suicide because the Master became momentarily irritate over something he 
had dome. Pythagoras was so impressed by this tragedy that he never again spoke unkindly to or about anyone. 

p. 66 

the letters of his own name. This may explain why the word Pj^hagoras was so highly revered. 

After the death of Pythagoras his school gradually disintegrated, but those who had benefited by its 
teachings revered the memory of the great philosopher, as during his life they had reverenced the 
man himself. As time went on, Pythagoras came to be regarded as a god rather than a man, and his 
scattered disciples were bound together by their common admiration for the transcendent genius of 
their teacher. Edouard Schure, in his Pythagoras and the Delphic Mysteries, relates the following 
incident as illustrative of the bond of fellowship uniting the members of the Pythagorean School: 

"One of them who had fallen upon sickness and poverty was kindly taken in by an innkeeper. Before 
dying he traced a few mysterious signs (the pentagram, no doubt) on the door of the inn and said to 
the host, 'Do not be uneasy, one of my brothers will pay my debts.' A year afterwards, as a stranger 
was passing by this inn he saw the signs and said to the host, 'I am a Pythagorean; one of my brothers 
died here; tell me what I owe you on his account.'" 

Frank C. Higgins, 32°, gives an excellent compendium of the Pj^hagorean tenets in the following 

"P5rthagoras' teachings are of the most transcendental importance to Masons, inasmuch as they are 
the necessary fruit of his contact with the leading philosophers of the whole civilized world of his own 
day, and must represent that in which all were agreed, shorn of all weeds of controversy. Thus, the 
determined stand made by Pythagoras, in defense of pure monotheism, is sufficient evidence that the 
tradition to the effect that the unity of God was the supreme secret of all the ancient initiations is 
substantially correct. The philosophical school of Pythagoras was, in a measure, also a series of 
initiations, for he caused his pupils to pass through a series of degrees and never permitted them 
personal contact with himself until they had reached the higher grades. According to his biographers, 
his degrees were three in number. The first, that of 'Mathematicus,' assuring his pupils proficiency in 
mathematics and geometry, which was then, as it would be now if Masonry were properly inculcated, 
the basis upon which all other knowledge was erected. Secondly, the degree of 'Theoreticus,' which 
dealt with superficial applications of the exact sciences, and, lastly, the degree of 'Electus,' which 
entitled the candidate to pass forward into the light of the fullest illumination which he was capable of 
absorbing. The pupils of the Pythagorean school were divided into 'exoterici,' or pupils in the outer 
grades, and 'esoterici,' after they had passed the third degree of initiation and were entitled to the 
secret wisdom. Silence, secrecy and unconditional obedience were cardinal principles of this great 
order." (See Ancient Freemasonry.) 


The study of geometry, music, and astronomy was considered essential to a rational understanding of 
God, man, or Nature, and no one could accompany Pythagoras as a disciple who was not thoroughly 
familiar with these sciences. Many came seeking admission to his school. Each applicant was tested 
on these three subjects, and if found ignorant, was summarily dismissed. 

Pythagoras was not an extremist. He taught moderation in all things rather than excess in anything, 
for he believed that an excess of virtue was in itself a vice. One of his favorite statements was: "We 
must avoid with our utmost endeavor, and amputate with fire and sword, and by all other means, 
from the body, sickness; from the soul, ignorance; from the belly, luxury; from a city, sedition; from a 
family, discord; and from all things, excess." Pythagoras also believed that there was no crime equal 
to that of anarchy. 

All men know what they want, but few know what they need. Pythagoras warned his disciples that 
when they prayed they should not pray for themselves; that when they asked things of the gods they 
should not ask things for themselves, because no man knows what is good for him and it is for this 
reason undesirable to ask for things which, if obtained, would only prove to be injurious. 

The God of Pythagoras was the Monad, or the One that is Everything. He described God as the 
Supreme Mind distributed throughout all parts of the universe— the Cause of all things, the 
Intelligence of all things, and the Power within all things. He further declared the motion of God to be 
circular, the body of God to be composed of the substance of light, and the nature of God to be 
composed of the substance of truth. 

Pythagoras declared that the eating of meat clouded the reasoning faculties. While he did not 
condemn its use or totally abstain therefrom himself, he declared that judges should refrain from 
eating meat before a trial, in order that those who appeared before them might receive the most 
honest and astute decisions. When Pjrthagoras decided (as he often did) to retire into the temple of 
God for an extended period of time to meditate and pray, he took with his supply of specially 
prepared food and drink. The food consisted of equal parts of the seeds of poppy and sesame, the skin 
of the sea onion from which the juice had been thoroughly extracted, the flower of daffodil, the leaves 
of mallows, and a paste of barley and peas. These he compounded together with the addition of wild 
honey. For a beverage he took the seeds of cucumbers, dried raisins (with seeds removed), the flowers 
of coriander, the seeds of mallows and purslane, scraped cheese, meal, and cream, mixed together 

and sweetened with wild honey. Pythagoras claimed that this was the diet of Hercules while 
wandering in the Libyan desert and was according to the formula given to that hero by the goddess 
Ceres herself. 

The favorite method of healing among the Pythagoreans was by the aid of poultices. These people also 
knew the magic properties of vast numbers of plants. Pythagoras highly esteemed the medicinal 
properties of the sea onion, and he is said to have written an entire volume on the subject. Such a 
work, however, is not known at the present time. Pythagoras discovered that music had great 
therapeutic power and he prepared special harmonies for various diseases. He apparently 
experimented also with color, attaining considerable success. One of his unique curative processes 
resulted from his discovery of the healing value of certain verses from the Odyssey and the Iliad of 
Homer. These he caused to be read to persons suffering from certain ailments. He was opposed to 
surgery in all its forms and also objected to cauterizing. He would not permit the disfigurement of the 
human body, for such, in his estimation, was a sacrilege against the dwelling place of the gods. 

Pythagoras taught that friendship was the truest and nearest perfect of all relationships. He declared 
that in Nature there was a friendship of all for all; of gods for men; of doctrines one for another; of the 
soul for the body; of the rational part for the irrational part; of philosophy for its theory; of men for 
one another; of countrymen for one another; that friendship also existed between strangers, between 
a man and his wife, his children, and his servants. All bonds without friendship were shackles, and 
there was no virtue in their maintenance. Pythagoras believed that relationships were essentially 
mental rather than physical, and that a stranger of sympathetic intellect was closer to him than a 
blood relation whose viewpoint was at variance with his own. Pythagoras defined knowledge as the 
fruitage of mental accumulation. He believed that it would be obtained in many ways, but principally 
through observation. Wisdom was the understanding of the source or cause of all things, and this 
could be secured only by raising the intellect to a point where it intuitively cognized the invisible 
manifesting outwardly through the visible, and thus became capable of bringing itself en rapport with 
the spirit of things rather than with their forms. The ultimate source that wisdom could cognize was 
the Monad, the mysterious permanent atom of the Pythagoreans. 

Pythagoras taught that both man and the universe were made in the image of God; that both being 
made in the same image, the understanding of one predicated the knowledge of the other. He further 
taught that there was a constant interplay between the Grand Man (the universe) and man (the little 

Pythagoras believed that all the sidereal bodies were alive and that the forms of the planets and stars 
were merely bodies encasing souls, minds, and spirits in the same manner that the visible human 
form is but the encasing vehicle for an invisible spiritual organism which is, in reality, the conscious 
individual. Pythagoras regarded the planets as magnificent deities, worthy of the adoration and 
respect of man. All these deities, however, he considered subservient to the One First Cause within 
whom they all existed temporarily, as mortality exists in the midst of immortality. 

The famous Pythagorean Y signified the power of choice and was used in the Mysteries as emblematic 
of the Forking of the Ways. The central stem separated into two parts, one branching to 



To the five symmetrical solids of the ancients is added the sphere (i), the most perfect of all created forms. The five 
Pythagorean solids are: the tetrahedron (2) with four equilateral triangles as faces; the cube (3) with six squares as faces; 
the octahedron (4) with eight equilateral triangles as faces; the icosahedron (5) with twenty equilateral triangles as faces; 
and the dodecahedron (6) with twelve regular pentagons as faces. 

p. 67 

the right and the other to the left. The branch to the right was called Divine Wisdom and the one to 

the left Earthly Wisdom. Youth, personified by the candidate, walking the Path of Life, symbolized by 
the central stem of the Y, reaches the point where the Path divides. The neophyte must then choose 
whether he will take the left-hand path and, following the dictates of his lower nature, enter upon a 
span of folly and thoughtlessness which will inevitably result in his undoing, or whether he will take 
the right-hand road and through integrity, industry, and sincerity ultimately regain union with the 
immortals in the superior spheres. 

It is probable that P)^hagoras obtained his concept of the Y from the Egyptians, who included in 
certain of their initiatory rituals a scene in which the candidate was confronted by two female figures. 
One of them, veiled with the white robes of the temple, urged the neophyte to enter into the halls of 
learning; the other, bedecked with jewels, symbolizing earthly treasures, and bearing in her hands a 
tray loaded with grapes (emblematic of false light), sought to lure him into the chambers of 
dissipation. This symbol is still preserved among the Tarot cards, where it is called The Forking of the 
Ways. The forked stick has been the symbol of life among many nations, and it was placed in the 
desert to indicate the presence of water. 

Concerning the theory of transmigration as disseminated by Pythagoras, there are differences of 
opinion. According to one view, he taught that mortals who during their earthly existence had by their 
actions become like certain animals, returned to earth again in the form of the beasts which they had 
grovm to resemble. Thus, a timid person would return in the form of a rabbit or a deer; a cruel person 
in the form of a wolf or other ferocious animal; and a cunning person in the guise of a fox. This 
concept, however, does not fit into the general Pythagorean scheme, and it is far more likely that it 
was given in an allegorical rather than a literal sense. It was intended to convey the idea that human 
beings become bestial when they allow themselves to be dominated by their ovm lower desires and 
destructive tendencies. It is probable that the term transmigration is to be understood as what is 
more commonly called reincarnation, a doctrine which Pythagoras must have contacted directly or 
indirectly in India and Egypt. 

The fact that Pythagoras accepted the theory of successive reappearances of the spiritual nature in 
human form is found in a footnote to Levi's History of Magic: "He was an important champion of 
what used to be called the doctrine of metempsychosis, understood as the soul's transmigration into 
successive bodies. He himself had been (a) Aethalides, a son of Mercury; (b) Euphorbus, son of 
Panthus, who perished at the hands of Menelaus in the Trojan war; (c) Hermotimus, a prophet of 
Clazomenae, a city of Ionia; (d) a humble fisherman; and finally (e) the philosopher of Samos." 

Pythagoras also taught that each species of creatures had what he termed a seal, given to it by God, 
and that the physical form of each was the impression of this seal upon the wax of physical substance. 
Thus each body was stamped with the dignity of its divinely given pattern. Pythagoras believed that 
ultimately man would reach a state where he would cast off his gross nature and function in a body of 
spiritualized ether which would be in juxtaposition to his physical form at all times and which might 
be the eighth sphere, or Antichthon. From this he would ascend into the realm of the immortals, 
where by divine birthright he belonged. 

Pythagoras taught that everything in nature was divisible into three parts and that no one could 
become truly wise who did not view every problem as being diagrammatically triangular. He said, 
"Establish the triangle and the problem is two-thirds solved"; further, "All things consist of three." In 
conformity with this viewpoint, Pythagoras divided the universe into three parts, which he called the 
Supreme World, the Superior World, and the Inferior World. The highest, or Supreme World, was a 
subtle, interpenetrative spiritual essence pervading all things and therefore the true plane of the 
Supreme Deity itself, the Deity being in every sense omnipresent, omniactive, omnipotent, and 
omniscient. Both of the lower worlds existed within the nature of this supreme sphere. 

The Superior Worid was the home of the immortals. It was also the dwelling place of the archetypes, 

or the seals; their natures in no manner partook of the material of earthiness, but they, casting their 
shadows upon the deep (the Inferior World), were cognizable only through their shadows. The third, 
or Inferior World, was the home of those creatures who partook of material substance or were 
engaged in labor with or upon material substance. Hence, this sphere was the home of the mortal 
gods, the Demiurgi, the angels who labor with men; also the dsemons who partake of the nature of the 
earth; and finally mankind and the lower kingdoms, those temporarily of the earth but capable of 
rising above that sphere by reason and philosophy. 

The digits i and 2 are not considered numbers by the Pythagoreans, because they typify the two 
supermundane spheres. The Pythagorean numbers, therefore, begin with 3, the triangle, and 4, the 
square. These added to the 1 and the 2, produce the 10, the great number of all things, the archetype 
of the universe. The three worlds were called receptacles. The first was the receptacle of principles, 
the second was the receptacle of intelligences, and the third, or lowest, was the receptacle of 

"The symmetrical solids were regarded by Pythagoras, and by the Greek thinkers after him, as of the 
greatest importance. To be perfectly symmetrical or regular, a solid must have an equal number of 
faces meeting at each of its angles, and these faces must be equal regular polygons, i. e., figures whose 
sides and angles are all equal. Pythagoras, perhaps, may be credited with the great discovery that 
there are only five such solids.* * * 

'Now, the Greeks believed the world [material universe] to be composed of four elements—earth, air, 
fire, water—and to the Greek mind the conclusion was inevitable that the shapes of the particles of the 
elements were those of the regular solids. Earth-particles were cubical, the cube being the regular 
solid possessed of greatest stability; fire-particles were tetrahedral, the tetrahedron being the simplest 
and, hence, lightest solid. Water-particles were icosahedral for exactly the reverse reason, whilst air- 
particles, as intermediate between the two latter, were octahedral. The dodecahedron was, to these 
ancient mathematicians, the most mysterious of the solids; it was by far the most difficult to construct, 
the accurate drav^ng of the regular pentagon necessitating a rather elaborate application of 
Pythagoras' great theorem. Hence the conclusion, as Plato put it, that 'this (the regular dodecahedron) 
the Deity employed in tracing the plan of the Universe.' (H. Stanley Redgrove, in Bygone Beliefs.) 

Mr. Redgrove has not mentioned the fifth element of the ancient Mysteries, that which would make 
the analogy between the symmetrical solids and the elements complete. This fifth element, or ether, 
was called by the Hindus akasa. It was closely correlated with the hypothetical ether of modern 
science, and was the interpenetrative substance permeating all of the other elements and acting as a 
common solvent and common denominator of them. The twelve-faced solid also subtly referred to the 
Twelve Immortals who surfaced the universe, and also to the twelve convolutions of the human brain- 
-the vehicles of those Immortals in the nature of man. 

While Pythagoras, in accordance with others of his day, practiced divination (possibly arithmomancy), 
there is no accurate information concerning the methods which he used. He is believed to have had a 
remarkable wheel by means of which he could predict future events, and to have learned hydromancy 
from the Egyptians. He believed that brass had oracular powers, because even when everything was 
perfectly still there was always a rumbling sound in brass bowls. He once addressed a prayer to the 
spirit of a river and out of the water arose a voice, "Pythagoras, I greet thee." It is claimed for him that 
he was able to cause demons to enter into water and disturb its surface, and by means of the 
agitations certain things were predicted. 

After having drunk from a certain spring one day, one of the Masters of Pythagoras announced that 

the spirit of the water had just predicted that a great earthquake would occur the next day— a 
prophecy which was fulfilled. It is highly probable that Pythagoras possessed hypnotic power, not 

only over man but also over animals. He caused a bird to change the course of its flight, a bear to 
cease its ravages upon a community, and a bull to change its diet, by the exercise of mental influence. 
He was also gifted with second sight, being able to see things at a distance and accurately describe 
incidents that had not yet come to pass. 


lamblichus gathered thirty-nine of the symbolic sayings of Pythagoras and interpreted them. These 
have been translated from the Greek by Thomas Taylor. Aphorismic statement was one of the favorite 
methods of instruction used in the Pythagorean university of Crotona. Ten of the most representative 
of these aphorisms are reproduced below with a brief elucidation of their concealed meanings. 

I. Declining from the public ways, walk in unfrequented paths. By this it is to be understood that 
those who desire wisdom must seek it in solitude. 


J- I 


Pythagoras taught that the dot symbohzed the power of the number i, the hne the power of the number 2, the surface the 
power of the number 3, and the soUd the power of the number 4. 

p. 68 

n. Govern your tongue before all other things, following the gods. This aphorism warns man that his 
words, instead of representing him, misrepresent him, and that when in doubt as to what he should 
say, he should always be silent. 

III. The wind blowing, adore the sound. Pythagoras here reminds his disciples that the fiat of God is 
heard in the voice of the elements, and that all things in Nature manifest through harmony, rhythm, 
order, or procedure the attributes of the Deity. 

IV. Assist a man in raising a burden; but do not assist him in laying it down. The student is 
instructed to aid the diligent but never to assist those who seek to evade their responsibilities, for it is 
a great sin to encourage indolence. 

V. Speak not about Pythagoric concerns without light. The world is herein warned that it should not 
attempt to interpret the mysteries of God and the secrets of the sciences without spiritual and 
intellectual illumination. 

VI. Having departed from your house, turn not back, for the furies will be your attendants. 
Pythagoras here warns his followers that any who begin the search for truth and, after having learned 
part of the mystery, become discouraged and attempt to return again to their former ways of vice and 
ignorance, will suffer exceedingly; for it is better to know nothing about Divinity than to learn a little 
and then stop without learning all. 

VII. Nourish a cock, but sacrifice it not; for it is sacred to the sun and moon. Two great lessons are 
concealed in this aphorism. The first is a warning against the sacrifice of living things to the gods, 
because life is sacred and man should not destroy it even as an offering to the Deity. The second 
warns man that the human body here referred to as a cock is sacred to the sun (God) and the moon 
(Nature), and should be guarded and preserved as man's most precious medium of expression. 
Pythagoras also warned his disciples against suicide. 

VIII. Receive not a swallow into your house. This warns the seeker after truth not to allow drifting 
thoughts to come into his mind nor shiftless persons to enter into his life. He must ever surround 
himself with rationally inspired thinkers and with conscientious workers. 

IX. Offer not your right hand easily to anyone. This warns the disciple to keep his own counsel and 
not offer wisdom and knowledge (his right hand) to such as are incapable of appreciating them. The 
hand here represents Truth, which raises those who have fallen because of ignorance; but as many of 
the unregenerate do not desire wisdom they will cut off the hand that is extended in kindness to them. 
Time alone can effect the redemption of the ignorant masses 

X. When rising from the bedclothes, roll them together, and obliterate the impression of the body. 
Pythagoras directed his disciples who had awakened from the sleep of ignorance into the waking state 
of intelligence to eliminate from their recollection all memory of their former spiritual darkness; for a 
wise man in passing leaves no form behind him which others less intelligent, seeing, shall use as a 
mold for the casting of idols. 

The most famous of the Pythagorean fragments are the Golden Verses, ascribed to Pythagoras himself, 
but concerning whose authorship there is an element of doubt. The Golden Verses contain a brief 
summary of the entire system of philosophy forming the basis of the educational doctrines of Crotona, 
or, as it is more commonly known, the Italic School. These verses open by counseling the reader to 
love God, venerate the great heroes, and respect the deemons and elemental inhabitants. They then 
urge man to think carefully and industriously concerning his daily life, and to prefer the treasures of 
the mind and soul to accumulations of earthly goods. The verses also promise man that if he will rise 
above his lower material nature and cultivate self-control, he will ultimately be acceptable in the sight 
of the gods, be reunited with them, and partake of their immortality. (It is rather significant to note 
that Plato paid a great price for some of the manuscripts of Pjlihagoras which had been saved from 
the destruction of Crotona. See Historia Deorum Fatidicorum, Geneva, 1675.) 


According to Pythagoras, the position of each body in the universe was determined by the essential 
dignity of that body. The popular concept of his day was that the earth occupied the center of the solar 
system; that the planets, including the sun and moon, moved about the earth; and that the earth itself 
was flat and square. Contrary to this concept, and regardless of criticism, Pjlihagoras declared that 
fire was the most important of all the elements; that the center was the most important part of every 
body; and that, just as Vesta's fire was in the midst of every home, so in the midst of the universe was 
a flaming sphere of celestial radiance. This central globe he called the Tower of Jupiter, the Globe of 
Unity, the Grand Monad, and the Altar of Vesta. As the sacred number lo symbolized the sum of all 
parts and the completeness of all things, it was only natural for Pythagoras to divide the universe into 
ten spheres, symbolized by ten concentric circles. These circles began at the center with the globe of 
Divine Fire; then came the seven planers, the earth, and another mysterious planet, caWed Antichthon, 
which was never visible. 

Opinions differ as to the nature of Antichthon. Clement of Alexandria believed that it represented the 
mass of the heavens; others held the opinion that it was the moon. More probably it was the 
mysterious eighth sphere of the ancients, the dark planet which moved in the same orbit as the earth 
but which was always concealed from the earth by the body of the sun, being in exact opposition to 
the earth at all times. Is this the mysterious Lilith concerning which astrologers have speculated so 

Isaac Myer has stated: "The Pythagoreans held that each star was a world having its own atmosphere, 
with an immense extent surrounding it, of aether." (See The Qabbalah.) The disciples of Pythagoras 
also highly revered the planet Venus, because it was the only planet bright enough to cast a shadow. 
As the morning star, Venus is visible before sunrise, and as the evening star it shines forth 
immediately after sunset. Because of these qualities, a number of names have been given to it by the 
ancients. Being visible in the sky at sunset, it was called vesper, and as it arose before the sun, it was 
called the false light, the star of the morning, or Lucifer, which means the light-bearer. Because of 
this relation to the sun, the planet was also referred to as Venus, Astarte, Aphrodite, Isis, and The 
Mother of the Gods. It is possible that: at some seasons of the year in certain latitudes the fact that 
Venus was a crescent could be detected without the aid of a telescope. This would account for the 
crescent which is often seen in connection with the goddesses of antiquity, the stories of which do not 
agree with the phases of the moon. The accurate knowledge which Pythagoras possessed concerning 
astronomy he undoubtedly secured in the Egyptian temples, for their priests understood the true 
relationship of the heavenly bodies many thousands of years before that knowledge was revealed to 
the uninitiated world. The fact that the knowledge he acquired in the temples enabled him to make 
assertions requiring two thousand years to check proves why Plato and Aristotle so highly esteemed 
the profundity of the ancient Mysteries. In the midst of comparative scientific ignorance, and without 
the aid of any modern instruments, the priest-philosophers had discovered the true fundamentals of 
universal dynamics. 

An interesting application of the Pythagorean doctrine of geometric solids as expounded by Plato is 
found in The Canon. "Nearly all the old philosophers," says its anonymous author, "devised an 
harmonic theory with respect to the universe, and the practice continued till the old mode of 
philosophizing died out. Kepler (1596), in order to demonstrate the Platonic doctrine, that the 
universe was formed of the five regular solids, proposed the following rule. 'The earth is a circle, the 
measurer of all. Round it describe a dodecahedron; the circle inclosing this will be Mars. Round Mars 
describe a tetrahedron; the sphere inclosing this will be Jupiter. Describe a cube round Jupiter; the 
sphere containing this will be Saturn. Now inscribe in the earth an icosahedron; the circle inscribed in 
it will be Venus. Inscribe an octahedron in Venus; the circle inscribed in it will be Mercury' 
(Mysterium Cosmographicum, 1596). This rule cannot be taken seriously as a real statement of the 
proportions of the cosmos, fox it bears no real resemblance to the ratios published by Copernicus in 

the beginning of the sixteenth century. Yet Kepler was very proud of his formula, and said he valued it 
more than the Electorate of Saxony. It was also approved by those two eminent authorities, Tycho 
and Galileo, who evidently understood it. Kepler himself never gives the least hint of how his precious 
rule is to be interpreted." Platonic astronomy was not concerned with the material constitution or 
arrangement of the heavenly bodies, but considered the stars and planers primarily as focal points of 
Divine intelligence. Physical astronomy was regarded as the science of "shadows," philosophical 
astronomy the science of "realities." 


Theon of Smyrna declares that the ten dots, or tetractys of Pj^hagoras, was a symbol of the greatest importance, for to the 
discerning mind it revealed the mystery of universal nature. The Pythagoreans bound themselves by the following oath: 
"By Him who gave to our soul the tetractys, which hath the fountain and root of ever-springing nature." 


By connecting the ten dots of the tetractys, nine triangles are formed. Six of these are involved in the forming of the cube. 
The same triangles, when lines are properly drawn between them, also reveal the six-pointed star with a dot in the center. 
Only seven dots are used in forming the cube and the star. Qabbalistically, the three unused corner dots represent the 
threefold, invisible causal nature of the universe, while the seven dots involved in the cube and the star are the Elohim— 
the Spirits of the seven creative periods. The Sabbath, or seventh day, is the central dot. 

p. 69 

Pythagorean Mathematics 

CONCERNING the secret significance of numbers there has been much speculation. Though many 
interesting discoveries have been made, it may be safely said that with the death of Pythagoras the 
great key to this science was lost. For nearly 2500 years philosophers of all nations have attempted to 
unravel the Pythagorean skein, but apparently none has been successful. Notwithstanding attempts 
made to obliterate all records of the teachings of Pythagoras, fragments have survived which give 
clues to some of the simpler parts of his philosophy. The major secrets were never committed to 
writing, but were communicated orally to a few chosen disciples. These apparently dated not divulge 
their secrets to the profane, the result being that when death sealed their lips the arcana died with 

Certain of the secret schools in the world today are perpetuations of the ancient Mysteries, and 
although it is quite possible that they may possess some of the original numerical formula, there is no 
evidence of it in the voluminous writings which have issued from these groups during the last five 
hundred years. These writings, while frequently discussing Pythagoras, show no indication of a more 
complete knowledge of his intricate doctrines than the post- Pythagorean Greek speculators had, who 
talked much, wrote little, knew less, and concealed their ignorance under a series of mysterious hints 
and promises. Here and there among the literary products of early writers are found enigmatic 
statements which they made no effort: to interpret. The following example is quoted from Plutarch: 

"The Pythagoreans indeed go farther than this, and honour even numbers and geometrical diagrams 
with the names and titles of the gods. Thus they call the equilateral triangle head-born Minerva and 
Tritogenia, because it may be equally divided by three perpendiculars drawn from each of the angles. 
So the unit they term Apollo, as to the number two they have affixed the name of strife and 
audaciousness, and to that of three, justice. For, as doing an injury is an extreme on the one side, and 
suffering one is an extreme on the on the one side, and suffering in the middle between them. In like 
manner the number thirty-six, their Tetractys, or sacred Quaternion, being composed of the first four 
odd numbers added to the first four even ones, as is commonly reported, is looked upon by them as 
the most solemn oath they can take, and called Kosmos." (Isis and Osiris.) 

Earlier in the same work, Plutarch also notes: "For as the power of the triangle is expressive of the 
nature of Pluto, Bacchus, and Mars; and the properties of the square of Rhea, Venus, Ceres, Vesta, 
and Juno; of the Dodecahedron of Jupiter; so, as we are informed by Eudoxus, is the figure of fifty-six 
angles expressive of the nature of Typhon." Plutarch did not pretend to explain the inner significance 
of the symbols, but believed that the relationship which Pythagoras established between the 
geometrical solids and the gods was the result of images the great sage had seen in the Egyptian 

Albert Pike, the great Masonic symbolist, admitted that there were many points concerning which he 
could secure no reliable information. In his Symbolism, for the 32° and 33°, he wrote: "I do not 
understand why the 7 should be called Minerva, or the cube, Neptune." Further on he added: 
"Undoubtedly the names given by the Pythagoreans to the different numbers were themselves 
enigmatical and symbolic-and there is little doubt that in the time of Plutarch the meanings these 
names concealed were lost. Pythagoras had succeeded too well in concealing his symbols with a veil 
that was from the first impenetrable, without his oral explanation * * *." 

This uncertainty shared by all true students of the subject proves conclusively that it is unwise to 
make definite statements founded on the indefinite and fragmentary information available 
concerning the Pythagorean system of mathematical philosophy. The material which follows 

represents an effort to collect a few salient points from the scattered records preserved by disciples of 
Pjlihagoras and others who have since contacted his philosophy. 


The first step in obtaining the numerical value of a word is to resolve it back into its original tongue. 
Only words of Greek or Hebrew derivation can be successfully analyzed by this method, and all words 
must be spelled in their most ancient and complete forms. Old Testament words and names, 
therefore, must be translated back into the early Hebrew characters and New Testament words into 
the Greek. Two examples v^U help to clarify this principle. 

The Demiurgus of the Jews is called in English Jehovah, but when seeking the numerical value of the 
name Jehovah it is necessary to resolve the name into its Hebrew letters. It becomes mn% and is read 
from right to left. The Hebrew letters are: n. He; % Vau; n. He; % Yod; and when reversed into the 
English order from left to right read: Yod-He-Vau-He. By consulting the foregoing table of letter 
values, it is found that the four characters of this sacred name have the following numerical 
significance: Yod equals lo. He equals 5, Vau equals 6, and the second He equals 5. Therefore, 
10+5+6+5=26, a synonym of Jehovah. If the English letters were used, the answer obviously would 
not be correct. 

The second example is the mysterious Gnostic pantheos Abraxas. For this name the Greek table is 
used. Abraxas in Greek is A^paEjaq. A = 1, P = 2, p = 100, a = 1, ^ =60, a = 1, g = 200, the sum being 
365, the number of days in the year. This number furnishes the key to the mystery of Abraxas, who is 
symbolic of the 365 ^^lons, or Spirits of the Days, gathered together in one composite personality. 
Abraxas is symbolic of five creatures, and as the circle of the year actually consists of 360 degrees, 
each of the emanating deities is one-fifth of this power, or 72, one of the most sacred numbers in the 
Old Testament of the Jews and in their Qabbalistic system. This same method is used in finding the 
numerical value of the names of the gods and goddesses of the Greeks and Jews. 

All higher numbers can be reduced to one of the original ten numerals, and the 10 itself to 1. 
Therefore, all groups of numbers resulting from the translation of names of deities into their 
numerical equivalents have a basis in one of the first ten numbers. By this system, in which the digits 
are added together, 666 becomes 6+6+6 or 18, and this, in turn, becomes 1+8 or 9. According to 
Revelation, 144,000 are to be saved. This number becomes 1+4+4+0+0+0, which equals 9, thus 
proving that both the Beast of Babylon and the number of the saved refer to man himself, whose 
symbol is the number 9. This system can be used successfully with both Greek and Hebrew letter 

The original Pjlihagorean system of numerical philosophy contains nothing to justify the practice now 
in vogue of changing the given name or surname in the hope of improving the temperament or 
financial condition by altering the name vibrations. 

There is also a system of calculation in vogue for the English language, but its accuracy is a matter of 
legitimate dispute. It is comparatively modern and has no relationship either to the Hebrew 
Qabbalistic system or to the Greek procedure. The claim made by some that it is Pythagorean is not 
supported by any tangible evidence, and there are many reasons why such a contention is untenable. 
The fact that Pythagoras used 10 as the basis of calculation, while this system uses 9~an imperfect 
number —is in itself almost conclusive. Furthermore, the arrangement of the Greek and Hebrew 
letters does not agree closely enough with the English to permit the application of the number 
sequences of one language to the number sequences of the others. Further experimentation with 







A a 




r V 
1 7 




U JJt^ll 1 

A 3 




±f p 







/j- 1 1 1 1 





1 IL [[l 



n n 







1 1 


IT „ 




rl! rt 







AT M4+ 



in r 







TT r 


p ■ 







P a 







^tl L[L 






















From Higgins' Celtic Druids. 


1 Names of the Hebrew letters. 

2 Samaritan Letters. 

3 Hebrew and Chaldean letters. 

4 Numerical equivalents of the letters. 

5 Capital and small Greek letters. 

6 The letters marked with asterisks are those brought to Greece from Phoenicia by Cadmus. 

7 Name of the Greek letters. 

8 Nearest English equivalents to the Hebrew, Greek, and Samaritan Letters. 

NOTE. When used at the end of a word, the Hebrew Tau has the numerical value 440, Caph 500, Mem 600, Nun 700, Pe 
800, Tzadi 900. A dotted AZpfta and a dashed AZep/i have the value of 1,000. 

p. 70 

the system may prove profitable, but it is without basis in antiquity. The arrangement of the letters 
and numbers is as follows: 















The letters under each of the numbers have the value of the figure at: the top of the column. Thus, in 
the word man, M = 4,A = i,N= 5: a. total of 10. The values of the numbers are practically the same as 
those given by the Pythagorean system. 


(The following outline of Pythagorean mathematics is a paraphrase of the opening chapters of 
Thomas Taylor's Theoretic Arithmetic, the rarest and most important compilation of Pythagorean 
mathematical fragments extant.) 

The Pythagoreans declared arithmetic to be the mother of the mathematical sciences. This is proved 
by the fact that geometry, music, and astronomy are dependent upon it but it is not dependent upon 
them. Thus, geometry may be removed but arithmetic will remain; but if arithmetic be removed, 
geometry is eliminated. In the same manner music depends upon arithmetic, but the elimination of 
music affects arithmetic only by limiting one of its expressions. The Pythagoreans also demonstrated 
arithmetic to be prior to astronomy, for the latter is dependent upon both geometry and music. The 
size, form, and motion of the celestial bodies is determined by the use of geometry; their harmony 
and rhythm by the use of music. If astronomy be removed, neither geometry nor music is injured; but 
if geometry and music be eliminated, astronomy is destroyed. The priority of both geometry and 
music to astronomy is therefore established. Arithmetic, however, is prior to all; it is primary and 

Pythagoras instructed his disciples that the science of mathematics is divided into two major parts. 
The first is concerned with the multitude, or the constituent parts of a thing, and the second with the 
magnitude, or the relative size or density of a thing. 

Magnitude is divided into two parts—magnitude which is stationary and magnitude which is movable, 
the stationary pare having priority. Multitude is also divided into two parts, for it is related both to 
itself and to other things, the first relationship having priority. Pythagoras assigned the science of 
arithmetic to multitude related to itself, and the art of music to multitude related to other things. 
Geometry likewise was assigned to stationary magnitude, and spherics (used partly in the sense of 
astronomy) to movable magnitude. Both multitude and magnitude were circumscribed by the 
circumference of mind. The atomic theory has proved size to be the result of number, for a mass is 
made up of minute units though mistaken by the uninformed for a single simple substance. 

Owing to the fragmentary condition of existing Pythagorean records, it is difficult to arrive at exact 
definitions of terms. Before it is possible, however, to unfold the subject further some light must he 
cast upon the meanings of the words number, monad, and one. 

The monad signifies (a) the all-including ONE. The Pythagoreans called the monad the "noble 
number. Sire of Gods and men." The monad also signifies (b) the sum of any combination of numbers 
considered as a whole. Thus, the universe is considered as a monad, but the individual parts of the 
universe (such as the planets and elements) are monads in relation to the parts of which they 

themselves are composed, though they, in turn, are parts of the greater monad formed of their sum. 

The monad may also be likened (c) to the seed of a tree which, when it has grown, has many branches 
(the numbers). In other words, the numbers are to the monad what the branches of the tree are to the 
seed of the tree. From the study of the mysterious Pythagorean monad, Leibnitz evolved his 
magnificent theory of the world atoms—a theory in perfect accord with the ancient teachings of the 
Mysteries, for Leibnitz himself was an initiate of a secret school. By some Pythagoreans the monad is 
also considered (d) synonymous with the one. 

Number is the term applied to all numerals and their combinations. (A strict interpretation of the 
term number by certain of the Pythagoreans excludes i and 2.) Pythagoras defines number to be the 
extension and energy of the spermatic reasons contained in the monad. The followers of Hippasus 
declared number to be the first pattern used by the Demiurgus in the formation of the universe. 

The one was defined by the Platonists as "the summit of the many." The one differs from the monad 
in that the term monad is used to designate the sum of the parts considered as a unit, whereas the one 
is the term applied to each of its integral parts. 

There are two orders of number: odd and even. Because unity, or 1, always remains indivisible, the 
odd number cannot be divided equally. Thus, 9 is 4+1+4, the unity in the center being indivisible. 
Furthermore, if any odd number be divided into two parts, one part will always be odd and the other 
even. Thus, 9 may be 5+4, 3+6, 7+2, or 8+1. The Pythagoreans considered the odd number —of which 
the monad was the prototype—to be definite and masculine. They were not all agreed, however, as to 
the nature of unity, or 1. Some declared it to be positive, because if added to an even (negative) 
number, it produces an odd (positive) number. Others demonstrated that if unity be added to an odd 
number, the latter becomes even, thereby making the masculine to be feminine. Unity, or 1, therefore, 
was considered an androgynous number, partaking of both the masculine and the feminine attributes; 
consequently both odd and even. For this reason the Pythagoreans called it evenly-odd. It was 
customary for the Pythagoreans to offer sacrifices of an uneven number of objects to the superior 
gods, while to the goddesses and subterranean spirits an even number was offered. 

Any even number may be divided into two equal parts, which are always either both odd or both even. 
Thus, 10 by equal division gives 5+5, both odd numbers. The same principle holds true if the 10 be 
unequally divided. For example, in 6+4, both parts are even; in 7+3, both parts are odd; in 8+2, both 
parts are again even; and in 9+1, both parts are again odd. Thus, in the even number, however it may 
be divided, the parts will always be both odd or both even. The Pythagoreans considered the even 
number-of which the duad was the prototype— to be indefinite and feminine. 

The odd numbers are divided by a mathematical contrivance— called "the Sieve of Eratosthenes"— into 
three general classes: incomposite, composite, and incomposite-composite. 

The incomposite numbers are those which have no divisor other than themselves and unity, such as 3, 
5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, and so forth. For example, 7 is divisible only by 7, which 
goes into itself once, and unity, which goes into 7 seven times. 

The composite numbers are those which are divisible not only by themselves and unity but also by 
some other number, such as 9, 15, 21, 25, 27, 33, 39, 45, 51, 57, and so forth. For example, 21 is 
divisible not only by itself and by unity, but also by 3 and by 7. 

The incomposite-composite numbers are those which have no common divisor, although each of itself 
is capable of division, such as 9 and 25. For example, 9 is divisible by 3 and 25 by 5, but neither is 
divisible by the divisor of the other; thus they have no common divisor. Because they have individual 
divisors, they are called composite; and because they have no common divisor, they are called in, 
composite. Accordingly, the term incomposite-composite was created to describe their properties. 

Even numbers are divided into three classes: evenly-even, evenly-odd, and oddly-odd. 

The evenly-even numbers are all in duple ratio from unity; thus: i, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 
and 1,024. The proof of the perfect evenly-even number is that it can be halved and the halves again 
halved back to unity, as 1/2 of 64 = 32; 1/2 of 32 = 16; 1/2 of 16 = 8; 1/2 of 8 = 4; 1/2 of 4 = 2; 1/2 of 2 
= 1; beyond unity it is impossible to go. 

The evenly-even numbers possess certain unique properties. The sum of any number of terms but the 
last term is always equal to the last term minus one. For example: the sum of the first and second 
terms (1+2) equals the third term (4) minus one; or, the sum of the first, second, third, and fourth 
terms (1+2+4+8) equals the fifth term (16) minus one. 

In a series of evenly-even numbers, the first multiplied by the last equals the last, the second 
multiplied by the second from the last equals the last, and so on until in an odd series one number 
remains, which multiplied by itself equals the last number of the series; or, in an even series two 
numbers remain, which multiplied by each other give the last number of the series. For example: 1, 2, 
4, 8, 16 is an odd series. The first number (1) multiplied by the last number (16) equals the last 
number (16). The second number (2) multiplied by the second from the last number (8) equals the 
last number (16). Being an odd series, the 4 is left in the center, and this multiplied by itself also 
equals the last number (16). 

The evenly-odd numbers are those which, when halved, are incapable of further division by halving. 
They are formed by taking the odd numbers in sequential order and multiplying them by 2. By this 
process the odd numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 produce the evenly-odd numbers, 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22. Thus, 
every fourth number is evenly-odd. Each of the even-odd numbers may be divided once, as 2, which 
becomes two I's and cannot be divided further; or 6, which becomes two 3's and cannot be divided 

Another peculiarity of the evenly-odd numbers is that if the divisor be odd the quotient is always even, 
and if the divisor be even the quotient is always odd. For example: if 18 be divided by 2 (an even 
divisor) the quotient is 9 (an odd number); if 18 be divided by 3 (an odd divisor) the quotient is 6 (an 
even number). 

The evenly-odd numbers are also remarkable in that each term is one-half of the sum of the terms on 
either side of it. For example: 

p. 71 


ji.ri t riL 

rcmJ iLitti-Ji-m 

Tit unu ^Oi^ifiimitTt 
jJaekmr* mtitFtJ T 









3 £S-t-J.-Jl7 

^ f« 3^ 4lnJ «ff 

c rfj 




















1— 1 





1^ EI 










a jicni; Air 
re, ffnj irzAt 

11*. ifiM jMn^DiiK* ■« n^anhd Jtvn ilit -t'lieemfmU n 


Redrawn from Taylor's Theoretic Arithmetic. 

This sieve is a mathematical device originated by Eratosthenes about 230 B.C. far the purpose of segregating the composite and incomposite odd numbers. Its use is 
extremely simple after the theory has once been mastered. All the odd numbers are first arranged in their natural order as shown in the second panel from the 
bottom, designated Odd Numbers. It will then be seen that every third number (beginning with 3) is divisible by 3, every fifth number (beginning with 5;) is divisible 
by 5, every seventh number (beginning with 7) is divisible by 7, every ninth number (beginning with 9) is divisible by 9, every eleventh number (beginning with 11) is 
divisible by 11, and so on to infinity. This system finally sifts out what the Pythagoreans called the "incomposite" numbers, or those having no divisor other than 
themselves and unity. These will be found in the lowest panel, designated Primary and Incomposite Numbers. In his History of Mathematics, David Eugene Smith 
states that Eratosthenes was one of the greatest scholars of Alexandria and was called by his admirers "the second Plato." Eratosthenes was educated at Athens, and 
is renowned not only for his sieve but for having computed, by a very ingenious method, the circumference and diameter of the earth. His estimate of the earth's 
diameter was only 50 miles less than the polar diameter accepted by modern scientists. This and other mathematical achievements of Eratosthenes, are indisputable 
evidence that in the third century before Christ the Greeks not only knew the earth to be spherical in farm but could also approximate, with amazing accuracy, its 
actual size and distance from both the sun and the moon. Aristarchus of Samos, another great Greek astronomer and mathematician, who lived about 250 B.C., 
established by philosophical deduction and a few simple scientific instruments that the earth revolved around the sun. While Copernicus actually believed himself to 
be the discoverer of this fact, he but restated the findings advanced by Aristarchus seventeen hundred years earlier. 

lo is one-half of the sum of 6 and 14; 18 is one-half the sum of 14 and 22; and 6 is one-half the sum of 
2 and 10. 

The oddly-odd, or unevenly-even, numbers are a compromise between the evenly-even and the 
evenly-odd numbers. Unlike the evenly-even, they cannot be halved back to unity; and unlike the 
evenly-odd, they are capable of more than one division by halving. The oddly-odd numbers are 
formed by multiplying the evenly-even numbers above 2 by the odd numbers above one. The odd 
numbers above one are 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and so forth. The evenly-even numbers above 2 are 4, 8, 16, 32, 
64, and soon. The first odd number of the series (3) multiplied by 4 (the first evenly-even number of 
the series) gives 12, the first oddly-odd number. By multiplying 5, 7, 9, 11, and so forth, by 4, oddly- 
odd numbers are found. The other oddly-odd numbers are produced by multiplying 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 
so forth, in turn, by the other evenly-even numbers (8, 16, 32, 64, and so forth). An example of the 
halving of the oddly-odd number is as follows: 1/2 of 12 = 6; 1/2 of 6 = 3, which cannot be halved 
further because the Pj^hagoreans did not divide unity. 

Even numbers are also divided into three other classes: superperfect, deficient, and perfect. 

Superperfect or superabundant numbers are such as have the sum of their fractional parts greater 
than themselves. For example: 1/2 of 24 = 12; 1/4 = 6; 1/3 = 8; 1/6 = 4; 1/12 = 2; and 1/24 = 1. The 
sum of these parts (12+6+8+4+2+1) is 33, which is in excess of 24, the original number. 

Deficient numbers are such as have the sum of their fractional parts less than themselves. For 
example: 1/2 of 14 = 7; 1/7 = 2; and 1/14 = 1. The sum of these parts (7+2+1) is 10, which is less than 
14, the original number. 

Perfect numbers are such as have the sum of their fractional parts equal to themselves. For example: 
1/2 of 28 = 14; 1/4 = 7; 1/7 = 4; 1/14 = 2; and 1/28 = 1. The sum of these parts (14+7+4+2+1) is equal 
to 28. 

The perfect numbers are extremely rare. There is only one between 1 and 10, namely, 6; one between 
10 and 100, namely, 28; one between 100 and 1,000, namely, 496; and one between 1,000 and 
10,000, namely, 8,128. The perfect numbers are found by the following rule: The first number of the 
evenly-even series of numbers (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so forth) is added to the second number of the 
series, and if an incomposite number results it is multiplied by the last number of the series of evenly- 
even numbers whose sum produced it. The product is the first perfect number. For example: the first 
and second evenly-even numbers are 1 and 2. Their sum is 3, an incomposite number. If 3 be 
multiplied by 2, the last number of the series of evenly-even numbers used to produce it, the product 
is 6, the first perfect number. If the addition of the evenly-even numbers does not result in an 
incomposite number, the next evenly-even number of the series must be added until an incomposite 
number results. The second perfect number is found in the following manner: The sum of the evenly- 
even numbers 1, 2, and 4 is 7, an incomposite number. If 7 be multiplied by 4 (the last of the series of 
evenly-even numbers used to produce it) the product is 28, the second perfect number. This method 
of calculation may be continued to infinity. 

Perfect numbers when multiplied by 2 produce superabundant numbers, and when divided by 2 
produce deficient numbers. 

The Pythagoreans evolved their philosophy from the science of numbers. The following quotation 
from Theoretic Arithmetic is an excellent example of this practice: 

"Perfect numbers, therefore, are beautiful images of the virtues which are certain media between 
excess and defect, and are not summits, as by some of the ancients they were supposed to be. And evil 
indeed is opposed to evil, but both are opposed to one good. Good, however, is never opposed to good. 

but to two evils at one and the same time. Thus timidity is opposed to audacity, to both [of] which the 

want of true courage is common; but both timidity and audacity are opposed to fortitude. Craft also is 
opposed to fatuity, to both [of] which the want of intellect is common; and both these are opposed to 
prudence. Thus, too, profusion is opposed to avarice, to both [of] which illiberality is common; and 
both these are opposed to liberality. And in a similar manner in the other virtues; by all [of] which it 
is evident that perfect numbers have a great similitude to the virtues. But they also resemble the 
virtues on another account; for they are rarely found, as being few, and they are generated in a very 
constant order. On the contrary, an infinite multitude of superabundant and diminished numbers 
maybe found, nor are they disposed in any orderly series, nor generated from any certain end; and 
hence they have a great similitude to the vices, which are numerous, inordinate, and indefinite." 


(The following outline of the Pjfthagorean numbers is a paraphrase of the writings of Nicomachus, 
Theon of Smyrna, Proclus, Porphyry, Plutarch, Clement of Alexandria, Aristotle, and other early 

Monad— i--is so called because it remains always in the same condition—that is, separate from multitude. Its attributes 
are as follows: It is called mind, because the mind is stable and has preeminence; hermaphrodism, because it is both male 
and female; odd and even, for being added to the even it makes odd, and to the odd, even; God, because it is the beginning 
and end of all, but itself has neither beginning nor end; good, for such is the nature of God; the receptacle of matter, 
because it produces the duad, which is essentially material. 

By the Pythagoreans monad was called chaos, obscurity, chasm, Tartarus, Styx, abyss, Lethe, Atlas, Axis, Morpho (a name 
for Venus), and Tower or Throne of Jupiter, because of the great power which abides in the center of the universe and 
controls the circular motion of the planers about itself. Monad is also called germinal reason, because it is the origin of all 
the thoughts in the universe. Other names given to it were: Apollo, because of its relation to the sun; Prometheus, because 
he brought man light; Pyralios, one who exists in fire; geniture, because without it no number can exist; substance, 
because substance is primary; cause of truth; and constitution of symphony: all these because it is the primordial one. 

Between greater and lesser the monad is equal; between intention and remission it is middle; in multitude it is mean; and 
in time it is now, because 

p. 72 

eternity knows neither past nor future. It is called Jupiter, because he is Father and head of the gods; Vesta, the fire of the 
home, because it is located in the midst of the universe and remains there inclining to no side as a dot in a circle; form, 
because it circumscribes, comprehends, and terminates; love, concord, and piety, because it is indivisible. Other symbolic 
names for the monad are ship, chariot, Proteus (a god capable of changing his form), Mnemosyne, and Polyonymous 
(having many names). 

The following symbolic names were given to the duad— 2— because it has been divided, and is two rather than one; and 
when there are two, each is opposed to the other: genius, evil, darkness, inequality, instability, movability, boldness, 
fortitude, contention, matter, dissimilarity, partition between multitude and monad, defect, shapelessness, indefiniteness, 
indeterminate ness, harmony, tolerance, root, feet of fountain-abounding idea, top, Phanes, opinion, fallacy, alterity, 
diffidence, impulse, death, motion, generation, mutation, division, longitude, augmentation, composition, communion, 
misfortune, sustentation, imposition, marriage, soul, and science. 

In his book, Numbers, W. Wynn Westcott says of the duad: "it was called 'Audacity,' from its being the earliest number to 
separate itself from the Divine One; from the 'Adytum of God-nourished Silence,' as the Chaldean oracles say." 

As the monad is the father, so the duad is the mother; therefore, the duad has certain points in common with the 
goddesses Isis, Rhea (Jove's mother), Phrygia, Lydia, Dindymene (Cybele), and Ceres; Erato (one of the Muses); Diana, 
because the moon is forked; Dictynna, Venus, Dione, Cytherea; Juno, because she is both wife and sister of Jupiter; and 
Maia, the mother of Mercury. 

while the monad is the symbol of wisdom, the duad is the symbol of ignorance, for in it exists the sense of separateness— 
which sense is the beginning of ignorance. The duad, however, is also the mother of wisdom, for ignorance—out of the 
nature of itself—invariably gives birth to wisdom. 

The Pythagoreans revered the monad but despised the duad, because it was the symbol of polarity. By the power of the 
duad the deep was created in contradistinction to the heavens. The deep mirrored the heavens and became the symbol of 
illusion, for the below was merely a reflection of the above. The below was called maya, the illusion, the sea, the Great 
Void, and to symbolize it the Magi of Persia carried mirrors. From the duad arose disputes and contentions, until by 
bringing the monad between the duad, equilibrium was reestablished by the Savior-God, who took upon Himself the form 
of a number and was crucified between two thieves for the sins of men. 

The triad— 3— is the first number actually odd (monad not always being considered a number). It is the first equilibrium of 
unities; therefore, Pythagoras said that Apollo gave oracles from a tripod, and advised offer of libation three times. The 
keywords to the qualities of the triad are friendship, peace, justice, prudence, piety, temperance, and virtue. The following 
deities partake of the principles of the triad: Saturn (ruler of time), Latona, Cornucopise, Ophion (the great serpent), 
Thetis, Hecate, Polyhymnia (a Muse), Pluto, Triton, President of the Sea, Tritogenia, Achelous, and the Faces, Furies, and 
Graces. This number is called wisdom, because men organize the present, foresee the future, and benefit by the 
experiences of the fast. It is cause of wisdom and understanding. The triad is the number of knowledge— music, geometry, 
and astronomy, and the science of the celestials and terrestrials. Pythagoras taught that the cube of this number had the 
power of the lunar circle. 

The sacredness of the triad and its symbol— the triangle— is derived fi-om the fact that it is made up of the monad and the 
duad. The monad is the symbol of the Divine Father and the duad of the Great Mother. The triad being made of these two 
is therefore androgynous and is symbolic of the fact that God gave birth to His worlds out of Himself, who in His creative 
aspect is always symbolized by the triangle. The monad passing into the duad was thus capable of becoming the parent of 
progeny, for the duad was the womb of Mem, within which the world was incubated and within which it still exists in 

The tetrad— 4— was esteemed by the Pythagoreans as the primogenial number, the root of all things, the fountain of Nature 
and the most perfect number. All tetrads are intellectual; they have an emergent order and encircle the world as the 
Empyreum passes through it. Why the Pythagoreans expressed God as a tetrad is explained in a sacred discourse ascribed 
to Pythagoras, wherein God is called the Number of Numbers. This is because the decad, or 10, is composed of 1, 2, 3, and 
4. The number 4 is symbolic of God because it is symbolic of the first four numbers. Moreover, the tetrad is the center of 
the week, being halfway between 1 and 7. The tetrad is also the first geometric solid. 

Pythagoras maintained that the soul of man consists of a tetrad, the four powers of the soul being mind, science, opinion, 
and sense. The tetrad connects all beings, elements, numbers, and seasons; nor can anything be named which does not 
depend upon the tetractys. It is the Cause and Maker of all things, the intelligible God, Author of celestial and sensible 
good, Plutarch interprets this tetractys, which he said was also called the world, to be 36, consisting of the first four odd 
numbers added to the first four even numbers, thus: 

1 + 3+5+7 =16 
2+4+6+8 =20 


Keywords given to the tetrad are impetuosity, strength, virility, two-mothered, and the key keeper of Nature, because the 
universal constitution cannot be without it. It is also called harmony and the first profundity. The following deities 
partook of the nature of the tetrad: Hercules, Mercury, Vulcan, Bacchus, and Urania (one of the Muses). 

The triad represents the primary colors and the major planets, while the tetrad represents the secondary colors and the 
minor planets. From the first triangle come forth the seven spirits, symbolized by a triangle and a square. These together 
form the Masonic apron. 

The pentad— 5— is the union of an odd and an even number (3 and 2). Among the Greeks, the pentagram was a sacred 
symbol of light, health, and vitality. It also symbolized the fifth element— ether— because it is free from the disturbances of 
the four lower elements. It is called equilibrium, because it divides the perfect number 10 into two equal parts. 

The pentad is symbolic of Nature, for, when multiphed by itself it returns into itself, just as grains of wheat, starting in the 
form of seed, pass through Nature's processes and reproduce the seed of the wheat as the ultimate form of their own 
growth. Other numbers multiplied by themselves produce other numbers, but only 5 and 6 multiplied by themselves 
represent and retain their original number as the last figure in their products. 

The pentad represents all the superior and inferior beings. It is sometimes referred to as the hierophant, or the priest of 
the Mysteries, because of its connection with the spiritual ethers, by means of which mystic development is attained. 
Keywords of the pentad are reconciliation, alternation, marriage, immortality, cordiality. Providence, and sound. Among 
the deities who partook of the nature of the pentad were Pallas, Nemesis, Bubastia (Bast), Venus, Androgynia, Cytherea, 
and the messengers of Jupiter. 

The tetrad (the elements) plus the monad equals the pentad. The P5^hagoreans taught that the elements of earth, fire, air, 
and water were permeated by a substance called ether—the basis of vitality and life. Therefore, they chose the five-pointed 
star, or pentagram, as the symbol of vitality, health, and interpenetration. 

It was customary for the philosophers to conceal the element of earth under the symbol of a dragon, and many of the 
heroes of antiquity were told to go forth and slay the dragon. Hence, they drove their sword (the monad) into the body of 
the dragon (the tetrad). This resulted in the formation of the pentad, a symbol of the victory of the spiritual nature over 
the material nature. The four elements are symbolized in the early Biblical writings as the four rivers that poured out of 
Garden of Eden. The elements themselves are under the control of the composite Cherubim of Ezekiel. 

The Pythagoreans held the hexad~6~to represent, as Clement of Alexandria conceived, the creation of the world 
according to both the prophets and the ancient Mysteries. It was called by the Pythagoreans the perfection of all the parts. 
This number was particularly sacred to Orpheus, and also to the Fate, Lachesis, and the Muse, Thalia. It was called the 
form of forms, the articulation of the universe, and the maker of the soul. 

Among the Greeks, harmony and the soul were considered to be similar in nature, because all souls are harmonic. The 
hexad is also the symbol of marriage, because it is formed by the union of two triangles, one masculine and the other 
feminine. Among the keywords given to the hexad are: time, for it is the measure of duration; panacea, because health is 
equilibrium, and the hexad is a balance number; the world, because the world, like the hexad, is often seen to consist of 
contraries by harmony; omnisufficient, because its parts are sufficient for totality (3+2 + 1 = 6); unwearied, because it 
contains the elements of immortality. 

By the Pj^hagoreans the heptad~7~was called "worthy of veneration." It was held to be the number of religion, because 
man is controlled by seven celestial spirits to whom it is proper for him to make offerings. It was called the number of life, 
because it was believed that human creatures born in the seventh month of embryonic life usually lived, but those born in 
the eighth month often died. One author called it the Motherless Virgin, Minerva, because it was nor born of a mother but 
out of the crown, or the head of the Father, the monad. Keywords of the heptad are fortune, occasion, custody, control, 
government, judgment, dreams, voices, sounds, and that which leads all things to their end. Deities whose attributes were 
expressed by the heptad were i^^gis, Osiris, Mars, and Cleo (one of the Muses). 

Among many ancient nations the heptad is a sacred number. The Elohim of the Jews were supposedly seven in number. 
They were the Spirits of the Dawn, more commonly known as the Archangels controlling the planets. The seven 
Archangels, with the three spirits controlling the sun in its threefold aspect, constitute the 10, the sacred Pythagorean 
decad. The mysterious Pythagorean tetractys, or four rows of dots, increasing from 1 to 4, was symbolic of the stages of 
creation. The great Pythagorean truth that all things in Nature are regenerated through the decad, or 10, is subtly 
preserved in Freemasonry through these grips being effected by the uniting of 10 fingers, five on the hand of each person. 

The 3 (spirit, mind, and soul) descend into the 4 (the world), the sum being the 7, or the mystic nature of man, consisting 
of a threefold spiritual body and a fourfold material form. These are symbolized by the cube, which has six surfaces and a 
mysterious seventh point within. The six surfaces are the directions: north, east, south, west, up, and down; or, front, back, 
right, left, above, and below; or again, earth, fire, air, water, spirit, and matter. In the midst of these stands the 1, which is 
the upright figure of man, from whose center in the cube radiate six pyramids. From this comes the great occult axiom: 
"The center is the father of the directions, the dimensions, and the distances." 

The heptad is the number of the law, because it is the number of the Makers of Cosmic law, the Seven Spirits before the 

The ogdoad~8~was sacred because it was the number of the first cube, which form had eight corners, and was the only 
evenly-even number under 10 (1-2-4-8-4-2-1). Thus, the 8 is divided into two 4's, each 4 is divided into two 2's, and each 2 
is divided into two I's, thereby reestablishing the monad. Among the kej^vords of the ogdoad are love, counsel, prudence. 

law, and convenience. Among the divinities partaking of its nature were Panarmonia, Rhea, Cibele, Cadmaea, Dindymene, 
Orcia, Neptune, Themis, and Euterpe (a Muse). 

The ogdoad was a mysterious number associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries of Greece and the Cabiri. It was called the 
little holy number. It derived its form partly from the twisted snakes on the Caduceus of Hermes and partly from the 
serpentine motion of the celestial bodies; possibly also from the moon's nodes. 

The ennead~9~was the first square of an odd number (3x3). It was associated with failure and shortcoming because it fell 
short of the perfect number 10 by one. It was called the called the number of man, because of the nine months of his 
embryonic life. Among its keywords are ocean and horizon, because to the ancients these were boundless. The ennead is 
the limitless number because there is nothing beyond it but the infinite 10. It was called boundary and limitation, because 
it gathered all numbers within itself. It was called the sphere of the air, because it surrounded the numbers as air 
surrounds the earth, Among the gods and goddesses who partook in greater or less degree of its nature were Prometheus, 
Vulcan, Juno, the sister and wife of Jupiter, Paean, and Aglaia, Tritogenia, Curetes, Proserpine, Hyperion, and Terpsichore 
(a Muse). 

The 9 was looked upon as evil, because it was an inverted 6. According to the Eleusinian Mysteries, it was the number of 
the spheres through which the consciousness passed on its way to birth. Because of its close resemblance to the 
spermatozoon, the 9 has been associated with germinal life. 

The decad~io~according to the Pythagoreans, is the greatest of numbers, not only because it is the tetractys (the 10 dots) 
but because it comprehends all arithmetic and harmonic proportions. Pythagoras said that 10 is the nature of number, 
because all nations reckon to it and when they arrive at it they return to the monad. The decad was called both heaven and 
the world, because the former includes the latter. Being a perfect number, the decad was applied by the Pythagoreans to 
those things relating to age, power, faith, necessity, and the power of memory. It was also called unwearied, because, like 
God, it was tireless. The P5^hagoreans divided the heavenly bodies into ten orders. They also stated that the decad 
perfected all numbers and comprehended within itself the nature of odd and even, moved and unmoved, good and ill. 
They associated its power with the following deities: Atlas (for it carried the numbers on its shoulders), Urania, 
Mnemosyne, the Sun, Phanes, and the One God. 

The decimal system can probably be traced back to the time when it was customary to reckon on the fingers, these being 
among the most primitive of calculating devices and still in use among many aboriginal peoples. 


The Human Body in Symbolism 

THE oldest, the most profound, the most universal of all symbols is the human body. The Greeks, 
Persians, Egyptians, and Hindus considered a philosophical analysis of man's triune nature to be an 
indispensable part of ethical and religious training. The Mysteries of every nation taught that the laws, 
elements, and powers of the universe were epitomized in the human constitution; that everything 
which existed outside of man had its analogue within man. The universe, being immeasurable in its 
immensity and inconceivable in its profundity, was beyond mortal estimation. Even the gods 
themselves could comprehend but a part of the inaccessible glory which was their source. When 
temporarily permeated with divine enthusiasm, man may transcend for a brief moment the 
limitations of his own personality and behold in part that celestial effulgence in which all creation is 
bathed. But even in his periods of greatest illumination man is incapable of imprinting upon the 
substance of his rational soul a perfect image of the multiform expression of celestial activity. 

Recognizing the futility of attempting to cope intellectually with that which transcends the 
comprehension of the rational faculties, the early philosophers turned their attention from the 
inconceivable Divinity to man himself, with in the narrow confines of whose nature they found 
manifested all the mysteries of the external spheres. As the natural outgrowth of this practice there 
was fabricated a secret theological system in which God was considered as the Grand Man and, 
conversely, man as the little god. Continuing this analogy, the universe was regarded as a man and, 
conversely, man as a miniature universe. The greater universe was termed the Macrocosm— the Great 
World or Body—and the Divine Life or spiritual entity controlling its functions was called the 
Macroprosophus. Man's body, or the individual human universe, was termed the Microcosm, and the 
Divine Life or spiritual entity controlling its functions was called the Microprosophus. The pagan 
Mysteries were primarily concerned with instructing neophj^es in the true relationship existing 
between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm— in other words, between God and man. Accordingly, 
the key to these analogies between the organs and functions of the Microcosmic man and those of the 
Macrocosmic Man constituted the most prized possession of the early initiates. 

In Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky summarizes the pagan concept of man as follows: "Man is a little 
world—a microcosm inside the great universe. Like a fetus, he is suspended, by all his three spirits, in 
the matrix of the macrocosmos; and while his terrestrial body is in constant sympathy with its parent 
earth, his astral soul lives in unison with the sidereal anima mundi. He is in it, as it is in him, for the 
world-pervading element fills all space, and is space itself, only shoreless and infinite. As to his third 
spirit, the divine, what is it but an infinitesimal ray, one of the countless radiations proceeding 
directly from the Highest Cause— the Spiritual Light of the World? This is the trinity of organic and 
inorganic nature— the spiritual and the physical, which are three in one, and of which Proclus says 
that 'The first monad is the Eternal God; the second, eternity; the third, the paradigm, or pattern of 
the universe;' the three constituting the Intelligible Triad." 

Long before the introduction of idolatry into religion, the early priests caused the statue of a man to 
be placed in the sanctuary of the temple. This human figure symbolized the Divine Power in all its 
intricate manifestations. Thus the priests of antiquity accepted man as their textbook, and through 
the study of him learned to understand the greater and more abstruse mysteries of the celestial 
scheme of which they were a part. It is not improbable that this mysterious figure standing over the 
primitive altars was made in the nature of a manikin and, like certain emblematic hands in the 
Mystery schools, was covered with either carved or painted hieroglyphs. The statue may have opened, 
thus showing the relative positions of the organs, bones, muscles, nerves, and other parts. After ages 
of research, the manikin became a mass of intricate hieroglyphs and symbolic figures. Every part had 
its secret meaning. The measurements formed a basic standard by means of which it was possible to 

measure all parts of cosmos. It was a glorious composite emblem of all the knowledge possessed by 
the sages and hierophants. 

Then came the age of idolatry. The Mysteries decayed from within. The secrets were lost and none 
knew the identity of the mysterious man who stood over the altar. It was remembered only that the 
figure was a sacred and glorious symbol of the Universal Power, and it: finally came to be looked upon 
as a god—the One in whose image man was made. Having lost the knowledge of the purpose for which 
the manikin was originally constructed, the priests worshiped this effigy until at last their lack of 
spiritual understanding brought the temple down in ruins about their heads and the statue crumbled 
with the civilization that had forgotten its meaning. 

Proceeding from this assumption of the first theologians that man is actually fashioned in the image 
of God, the initiated minds of past ages erected the stupendous structure of theology upon the 
foundation of the human body. The religious world of today is almost totally ignorant of the fact that 
the science of biology is the fountainhead of its doctrines and tenets. Many of the codes and laws 
believed by modern divines to have been direct revelations from Divinity are in reality the fruitage of 
ages of patient delving into the intricacies of the human constitution and the infinite wonders 
revealed by such a study. 

In nearly all the sacred books of the world can be traced an anatomical analogy. This is most evident 
in their creation myths. Anyone familiar with embryology and obstetrics will have no difficulty in 
recognizing the basis of the allegory concerning Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden, the nine 
degrees of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and the Brahmanic legend of Vishnu's incarnations. The story of 
the Universal Egg, the Scandinavian myth of Ginnungagap (the dark cleft in space in which the seed 
of the world is sown), and the use of the fish as the emblem of the paternal generative power—all 
show the true origin of theological speculation. The philosophers of antiquity realized that man 
himself was the key to the riddle of life, for he was the living image of the Divine Plan, and in future 
ages humanity also will come to realize more fully the solemn import of those ancient words: "The 
proper study of mankind is man." 

Both God and man have a twofold constitution, of which the superior part is invisible and the inferior 
visible. In both there is also an intermediary sphere, marking the point where these visible and 
invisible natures meet. As the spiritual nature of God controls His objective universal form-which is 
actually a crystallized idea— so the spiritual nature of man is the invisible cause and controlling power 
of his visible material personality. Thus it is evident that the spirit of man bears the same relationship 
to his material body that God bears to the objective universe. The Mysteries taught that spirit, or life, 
was anterior to form and that what is anterior includes all that is posterior to itself. Spirit being 
anterior to form, form is therefore included within the realm of spirit. It is also a popular statement or 
belief that man's spirit is within his body. According to the conclusions of philosophy and theology, 
however, this belief is erroneous, for spirit first circumscribes an area and then manifests within it. 
Philosophically speaking, form, being a part of spirit, is within spirit; but: spirit is more than the sum 
of form, As the material nature of man is therefore within the sum of spirit, so the Universal Nature, 
including the entire sidereal system, is within the all-pervading essence of God— the Universal Spirit. 

According to another concept of the ancient wisdom, all bodies— whether spiritual or material— have 
three centers, called by the Greeks the upper center, the middle center, and the lower center. An 
apparent ambiguity will here be noted. To diagram or symbolize adequately abstract mental verities is 
impossible, for the diagrammatic representation of one aspect of metaphysical relationships may be 
an actual contradiction of some other aspect. While that which 


From Bohme's LibriApologetici. 

The Tetragrammaton, or four-lettered Name of God, is here arranged as a tetractys within the inverted human heart. 
Beneath, the name Jehovah is shown transformed into Jehoshua by the interpolation of the radiant Hebrew letter no. Shin. 
The drawing as a whole represents the throne of God and His hierarchies within the heart of man. In the first book of his 
LibriApologetici, Jakob Bohme thus describes the meaning of the symbol: "For we men have one book in common which 
points to God. Each has it within himself, which is the priceless Name of God. Its letters are the flames of His love, which 
He out of His heart in the priceless Name of Jesus has revealed in us. Read these letters in your hearts and spirits and you 
have books enough. All the writings of the children of God direct you unto that one book, for therein lie all the treasures of 
wisdom. * * * This book is Christ in you." 


is above is generally considered superior in dignity and power, in reality that which is in the center is 
superior and anterior to both that which is said to be above and that which is said to be below. 
Therefore, it must be said that the first—which is considered as being above—is actually in the center, 
while both of the others (which are said to be either above or below) are actually beneath. This point 
can be further simplified if the reader will consider above as indicating degree of proximity to source 
and below as indicating degree of distance from source, source being posited in the actual center and 
relative distance being the various points along the radii from the center toward the circumference. In 
matters pertaining to philosophy and theology, up maybe considered as toward the center and doivn 
as toward the circumference. Center is spirit; circumference is matter. Therefore, up is toward spirit 
along an ascending scale of spirituality; down is toward matter along an ascending scale of 
materiality. The latter concept is partly expressed by the apex of a cone which, when viewed from 
above, is seen as a point in the exact center of the circumference formed by the base of the cone. 

These three universal centers— the one above, the one below, and the link uniting them-represent 
three suns or three aspects of one sun— centers of effulgence. These also have their analogues in the 
three grand centers of the human body, which, like the physical universe, is a Demiurgic fabrication. 
"The first of these [suns]," says Thomas Taylor, "is analogous to light when viewed subsisting in its 
fountain the sun; the second to the light immediately proceeding from the sun; and the third to the 
splendour communicated to other natures by this light." 

Since the superior (or spiritual) center is in the midst of the other two, its analogue in the physical 
body is the heart— the most spiritual and mysterious organ in the human body. The second center (or 
the link between the superior and inferior worlds) is elevated to the position of greatest physical 
dignity— the brain. The third (or lower) center is relegated to the position of least physical dignity but 
greatest physical importance— the generative system. Thus the heart is symbolically the source of life; 
the brain the link by which, through rational intelligence, life and form are united; and the generative 
system— or infernal creator— the source of that power by which physical organisms are produced. The 

ideals and aspirations of the individual depend largely upon which of these three centers of power 
predominates in scope and activity of expression. In the materialist the lower center is the strongest, 
in the intellectualist the higher center; but in the initiate the middle center—by bathing the two 
extremes in a flood of spiritual effulgence—controls wholesomely both the mind and the body. 

As light bears witness of life-which is its source-so the mind bears witness of the spirit, and activity in 
a still lower plane bears witness of intelligence. Thus the mind bears witness of the heart, while the 
generative system, in turn, bears witness of the mind. Accordingly, the spiritual nature is most 
commonly symbolized by a heart; the intellectual power by an opened eye, symbolizing the pineal 
gland or Cyclopean eye, which is the two-faced Janus of the pagan Mysteries; and the generative 
system by a flower, a staff, a cup, or a hand. 

While all the Mysteries recognized the heart as the center of spiritual consciousness, they often 
purposely ignored this concept and used the heart in its exoteric sense as the symbol of the emotional 
nature, In this arrangement the generative center represented the physical body, the heart the 
emotional body, and the brain the mental body. The brain represented the superior sphere, but after 
the initiates had passed through the lower degrees they were instructed that the brain was the proxy 
of the spiritual flame dwelling in the innermost recesses of the heart. The student of esotericism 
discovers ere long that the ancients often resorted to various blinds to conceal the true interpretations 
of their Mysteries. The substitution of the brain for the heart was one of these blinds. 

The three degrees of the ancient Mysteries were, with few exceptions, given in chambers which 
represented the three great centers of the human and Universal bodies. If possible, the temple itself 
was constructed in the form of the human body. The candidate entered between the feet and received 
the highest degree in the point corresponding to the brain. Thus the first degree was the material 
mystery and its symbol was the generative system; it raised the candidate through the various degrees 
of concrete thought. The second degree was given in the chamber corresponding to the heart, but 
represented the middle power which was the mental link. Here the candidate was initiated into the 
mysteries of abstract thought and lifted as high as the mind was capable of penetrating. He then 
passed into the third chamber, which, analogous to the brain, occupied the highest position in the 
temple but, analogous to the heart, was of the greatest dignity. In the brain chamber the heart 
mystery was given. Here the initiate for the first time truly comprehended the meaning of those 
immortal words: "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." As there are seven hearts in the brain so 
there are seven brains in the heart, but this is a matter of superphysics of which little can be said at 
the present time. 

Proclus writes on this subject in the first book of On the Theology of Plato: "Indeed, Socrates in the 
(First) Alcibiades rightly observes, that the soul entering into herself will behold all other things, and 
deity itself. For verging to her own union, and to the centre of all life, laying aside multitude, and the 
variety of the all manifold powers which she contains, she ascends to the highest watch-tower 
offerings. And as in the most holy of the mysteries, they say, that the mystics at first meet with the 
multi form, and many-shaped genera, which are hurled forth before the gods, but on entering the 
temple, unmoved, and guarded by the mystic rites, they genuinely receive in their bosom [heart] 
divine illumination, and divested of their garments, as they would say, participate of a divine nature; 
the same mode, as it appears to me, takes place in the speculation of wholes. For the soul when 
looking at things posterior to herself, beholds the shadows and images of beings, but when she 
converts herself to herself she evolves her own essence, and the reasons which she contains. And at 
first indeed, she only as it were beholds herself; but, when she penetrates more profoundly into the 
knowledge of herself, she finds in herself both intellect, and the orders of beings. When however, she 
proceeds into her interior recesses, and into the adytum as it were of the soul, she perceives with her 
eye closed [without the aid of the lower mind], the genus of the gods, and the unities of beings. For all 
things are in us psychically, and through this we are naturally capable of knowing all things, by 
exciting the powers and the images of wholes which we contain." 

The initiates of old warned their disciples that an image is not a reality but merely the objectification 

of a subjective idea. The image, of the gods were nor designed to be objects of worship but were to be 
regarded merely as emblems or reminders of invisible powers and principles. Similarly, the body of 
man must not be considered as the individual but only as the house of the individual, in the same 
manner that the temple was the House of God. In a state of grossness and perversion man's body is 
the tomb or prison of a divine 


From an old print, courtesy of Carl Oscar Borg. 

Upon the twelve phalanges of the fingers, appear the likenesses of the Apostles, each bearing its own appropriate symbol. 
In the case of those who suffered martyrdom the symbol signifies the instrument of death. Thus, the symbol of St. Andrew 
is a cross; of St. Thomas, a javelin or a builder's square; of St. James the Less, a club; of St Philip, a cross; of St. 
Bartholomew, a large knife or scimitar; of St. Matthew, a sword or spear (sometimes a purse); of St. Simon, a club or saw; 
of St. Matthias, an axe; and of St. Judas, a halbert. The Apostles whose symbols do not elate to their martyrdom are St. 
Peter, who carries two crossed keys, one gold and one silver; St. James the Great, who bears a pilgrim's staff and an 
escalop shell; and St. John, who holds a cup from which the poison miraculously departed in the form of a serpent. (See 
Handbook of Christian Symbolism.) The figure of Christ upon the second phalange of the thumb does not follow the 
pagan system of assigning the first Person of the Creative Triad to this Position. God the Father should occupy the second 
Phalange, God the Son the first phalange, while to God the Holy Spirit is assigned the base of the thumb.—Also, according 
to the Philosophic arrangement, the Virgin should occupy the base of the thumb, which is sacred to the moon. 


principle; in a state of unfoldment and regeneration it is the House or Sanctuary of the Deity by 
whose creative powers it was fashioned. "Personality is suspended upon a thread from the nature of 
Being," declares the secret work. Man is essentially a permanent and immortal principle; only his 

bodies pass through the cycle of birth and death. The immortal is the reality; the mortal is the 
unreality. During each period of earth life, reality thus dwells in unreality, to be liberated from it 
temporarily by death and permanently by illumination. 

While generally regarded as poljliheists, the pagans gained this reputation not because they 
worshiped more than one God but rather because they personified the attributes of this God, thereby 
creating a pantheon of posterior deities each manifesting a part of what the One God manifested as a 
whole. The various pantheons of ancient religions therefore actually represent the catalogued and 
personified attributes of Deity. In this respect they correspond to the hierarchies of the Hebrew 
Qabbalists. All the gods and goddesses of antiquity consequently have their analogies in the human 
body, as have also the elements, planets, and constellations which were assigned as proper vehicles 
for these celestials. Four body centers are assigned to the elements, the seven vital organs to the 
planets, the twelve principal parts and members to the zodiac, the invisible parts of man's divine 
nature to various supermundane deities, while the hidden God was declared to manifest through the 
marrow in the bones. 

It is difficult for many to realize that they are actual universes; that their physical bodies are a visible 
nature through the structure of which countless waves of evolving life are unfolding their latent 
potentialities. Yet through man's physical body not only are a mineral, a plant, and an animal 
kingdom evolving, but also unknown classifications and divisions of invisible spiritual life, just as 
cells are infinitesimal units in the structure of man, so man is an infinitesimal unit in the structure of 
the universe. A theology based upon the knowledge and appreciation of these relationships is as 
profoundly just as it is profoundly true. 

As man's physical body has five distinct and important extremities—two legs, two arms, and a head, of 
which the last governs the first four —the number 5 has been accepted as the symbol of man. By its 
four corners the pyramid symbolizes the arms and legs, and by its apex the head, thus indicating that 
one rational power controls four irrational corners. The hands and feet are used to represent the four 
elements, of which the two feet are earth and water, and the two hands fire and air. The brain then 
symbolizes the sacred fifth element—aether—which controls and unites the other four. If the feet are 
placed together and the arms outspread, man then symbolizes the cross with the rational intellect as 
the head or upper limb. 

The fingers and toes also have special significance. The toes represent the Ten Commandments of the 
physical law and the fingers the Ten Commandments of the spiritual law. The four fingers of each 
hand represent the four elements and the three phalanges of each finger represent the divisions of the 
element, so that in each hand there are twelve parts to the fingers, which are analogous to the signs of 
the zodiac, whereas the two phalanges and base of each thumb signify the threefold Deity. The first 
phalange corresponds to the creative aspect, the second to the preservative aspect, and the base to the 
generative and destructive aspect. When the hands are brought together, the result is the twenty-four 
Elders and the six Days of Creation. 

In symbolism the body is divided vertically into halves, the right half being considered as light and 
the left half as darkness. By those unacquainted with the true meanings of light and darkness the light 
half was denominated spiritual and the left half material. Light is the symbol of objectivity; darkness 
of subjectivity. Light is a manifestation of life and is therefore posterior to life. That which is anterior 
to light is darkness, in which light exists temporarily but darkness permanently. As life precedes light, 
its only symbol is darkness, and darkness is considered as the veil which must eternally conceal the 
true nature of abstract and undifferentiated Being. 

In ancient times men fought with their right arms and defended the vital centers with their left arms, 
on which was carried the protecting shield. The right half of the body was regarded therefore as 
offensive and the left half defensive. For this reason also the right side of the body was considered 

masculine and the left side feminine. Several authorities are of the opinion that the present prevalent 

right-handedness of the race is the outgrowth of the custom of holding the left hand in restraint for 
defensive purposes. Furthermore, as the source of Being is in the primal darkness which preceded 
light, so the spiritual nature of man is in the dark part of his being, for the heart is on the left side. 

Among the curious misconceptions arising from the false practice of associating darkness with evil is 
one by which several early nations used the right hand for all constructive labors and the left hand for 
only those purposes termed unclean and unfit for the sight of the gods. For the same reason black 
magic was often referred to as the left-hand path, and heaven was said to be upon the right and hell 
upon the left. Some philosophers further declared that there were two methods of writing: one from 
left to right, which was considered the exoteric method; the other from right to left, which was 
considered esoteric. The exoteric writing was that which was done out or away from the heart, while 
the esoteric writing was that which—like the ancient Hebrew—was written toward the heart. 

The secret doctrine declares that every part and member of the body is epitomized in the brain and, in 
turn, that all that is in the brain is epitomized in the heart. In symbolism the human head is 
frequently used to represent intelligence and self-knowledge. As the human body in its entirety is the 
most perfect known product of the earth's evolution, it was employed to represent Divinity— the 
highest appreciable state or condition. Artists, attempting to portray Divinity, often show only a hand 
emerging from an impenetrable cloud. The cloud signifies the Unknowable Divinity concealed from 
man by human limitation. The hand signifies the Divine activity, the only part of God which is 
cognizable to the lower senses. 

The face consists of a natural trinity: the eyes representing the spiritual power which comprehends; 
the nostrils representing the preservative and vivifying power; and the mouth and ears representing 
the material Demiurgic power of the lower world. The first sphere is eternally existent and is creative; 
the second sphere pertains to the mystery of the creative breach; and the third sphere 


Redrawn from Gichtel's Theosophia Practica. 

Johann Georg Gichtel, a profound Philosopher and mystic, the most illumined of the disciples of Jakob Bohme, secretly 
circulated the above diagrams among a small group of devoted friends and students. Gichtel republished the writings of 
Bohme, illustrating them with numerous remarkable figures. According to Gichtel, the diagrams above, represent the 
anatomy of the divine (or inner) man, and graphically set forth its condition during its human, infernal, and divine states. 
The plates in the William Law edition of Bohme's works are based apparently upon Gichtel's diagrams, which they follow 

in all essentials. Gichtel gives no detailed description of his figures, and the lettering on the original diagrams here 
translated out of the German is the only clue to the interpretation of the charts. 

The two end figures represent the obverse and reverse of the same diagram and are termed Table Three. They are 
"designed to show the Condition of the whole Man, as to all his three essential Parts, Spirit, Soul, and Body, in his 
Regenerated State." The third figure from the left is called the Second Table, and sets forth "the Condition of Man in his 
old, lapsed, and corrupted State; without any respect to, or consideration of his renewing by regeneration." The third 
figure, however, does not correspond with the First Table of William Law. The First Table presumably represents the 
condition of humanity before the Fall, but the Gichtel plate pertains to the third, or regenerated, state of mankind. 
William Law thus describes the purpose of the diagrams, and the symbols upon them: "These three tables are designed to 
represent Man in his different Threefold State: the First before his Fall, in Purity, Dominion, and Glory: the Second after 
his Fall, in Pollution and Perdition: and the Third in his rising from the Fall, or on the Way of regeneration, in 
Sanctification and Tendency to his last Perfection." The student of Orientalism will immediately recognize in the symbols 
upon the figures the Hindu chakras, or centers of spiritual force, the various motions and aspects of which reveal the 
condition of the disciple's internal divine nature. 

p. 76 

to the creative word. By the Word of God the material universe was fabricated, and the seven creative 
powers, or vowel sounds—which had been brought into existence by the speaking of the Word- 
became the seven Elohim or Deities by whose power and ministration the lower world was organized. 
Occasionally the Deity is symbolized by an eye, an ear, a nose, or a mouth. By the first, Divine 
awareness is signified; by the second. Divine interest; by the third. Divine vitality; and by the fourth. 
Divine command. 

The ancients did not believe that spirituality made men either righteous or rational, but rather that 
righteousness and rationality made men spiritual. The Mysteries taught that spiritual illumination 
was attained only by bringing the lower nature up to a certain standard of efficiency and purity. The 
Mysteries were therefore established for the purpose of unfolding the nature of man according to 
certain fixed rules which, when faithfully followed, elevated the human consciousness to a point 
where it was capable of cognizing its own constitution and the true purpose of existence. This 
knowledge of how man's manifold constitution could be most quickly and most completely 
regenerated to the point of spiritual illumination constituted the secret, or esoteric, doctrine of 
antiquity. Certain apparently physical organs and centers are in reality the veils or sheaths of spiritual 
centers. What these were and how they could be unfolded was never revealed to the unregenerate, for 
the philosophers realized that once he understands the complete working of any system, a man may 
accomplish a prescribed end without being qualified to manipulate and control the effects which he 
has produced. For this reason long periods of probation were imposed, so that the knowledge of how 
to become as the gods might remain the sole possession of the worthy. 

Lest that knowledge be lost, however, it was concealed in allegories and myths which were 
meaningless to the profane but self-evident to those acquainted with that theory of personal 
redemption which was the foundation of philosophical theology. Christianity itself maybe cited as an 
example. The entire New Testament is in fact an ingeniously concealed exposition of the secret 
processes of human regeneration. The characters so long considered as historical men and women are 
really the personification of certain processes which take place in the human body when man begins 
the task of consciously liberating himself from the bondage of ignorance and death. 

The garments and ornamentations supposedly worn by the gods are also keys, for in the Mysteries 
clothing was considered as synonymous with form. The degree of spirituality or materiality of the 
organisms was signified by the quality, beauty, and value of the garments worn. Man's physical body 
was looked upon as the robe of his spiritual nature; consequently, the more developed were his super- 
substantial powers the more glorious his apparel. Of course, clothing was originally worn for 
ornamentation rather than protection, and such practice still prevails among many primitive peoples. 
The Mysteries caught that man's only lasting adornments were his virtues and worthy characteristics; 

that he was clothed in his own accompHshments and adorned by his attainments. Thus the white robe 
was symbolic of purity, the red robe of sacrifice and love, and the blue robe of altruism and integrity. 
Since the body was said to be the robe of the spirit, mental or moral deformities were depicted as 
deformities of the body. 

Considering man's body as the measuring rule of the universe, the philosophers declared that all 
things resemble in constitution—if not in form— the human body. The Greeks, for example, declared 
Delphi to be the navel of the earth, for the physical planet was looked upon as a gigantic human being 
twisted into the form of a ball. In contradistinction to the belief of Christendom that the earth is an 
inanimate thing, the pagans considered not only the earth but also all the sidereal bodies as 
individual creatures possessing individual intelligences. They even went so far as to view the various 
kingdoms of Nature as individual entities. The animal kingdom, for example, was looked upon as one 
being—a composite of all the creatures composing that kingdom. This prototypic beast was a mosaic 
embodiment of all animal propensities and within its nature the entire animal world existed as the 
human species exists within the constitution of the prototypic Adam. 

In the same manner, races, nations, tribes, religions, states, communities, and cities were viewed as 
composite entities, each made up of varying numbers of individual units. Every community has an 
individuality which is the sum of the individual attitudes of its inhabitants. Every religion is an 
individual whose body is made up of a hierarchy and vast host of individual worshipers. The 
organization of any religion represents its physical body, and its individual members the cell life 
making up this organism. Accordingly, religions, races, and communities— like individuals— pass 
through Shakespeare's Seven Ages, for the life of man is a standard by which the perpetuity of all 
things is estimated. 

According to the secret doctrine, man, through the gradual refinement of his vehicles and the ever- 
increasing sensitiveness resulting from that refinement, is gradually overcoming the limitations of 
matter and is disentangling himself from his mortal coil. When humanity has completed its physical 
evolution, the empty shell of materiality left behind will be used by other life waves as steppingstones 
to their own liberation. The trend of man's evolutionary growth is ever toward his own essential 
Selfhood. At the point of deepest materialism, therefore, man is at the greatest distance from Himself. 
According to the Mystery teachings, not all the spiritual nature of man incarnates in matter. The spirit 
of man is diagrammatically shown as an equilateral triangle with one point downward. This lower 
point, which is one-third of the spiritual nature but in comparison to the dignity of the other two is 
much less than a third, descends into the illusion of material existence for a brief space of time. That 
which never clothes itself in the sheath of matter is the Hermetic Anf/iropos— the Overman- 
analogous to the Cyclops or guardian daemon of the Greeks, the angel of Jakob Bohme, and the 
Oversoul of Emerson, "that Unity, that Oversoul, within which every man's particular being is 
contained and made one with all other." 

At birth only a third part of the Divine Nature of man temporarily dissociates itself from its own 
immortality and takes upon itself the dream of physical birth and existence, animating with its own 
celestial enthusiasm a vehicle composed of material elements, part of and bound to the material 
sphere. At death this incarnated part awakens from the dream of physical existence and reunites itself 
once more with its eternal condition. This periodical descent of spirit into matter is termed the wheel 
of life and death, and the principles involved are treated at length by the philosophers under the 
subject of metempsychosis. By initiation into the Mysteries and a certain process known as operative 
theology, this law of birth and death is transcended, and during the course of physical existence that 
part of the spirit which is asleep in form is awakened without the intervention of death— the inevitable 
Initiator— and is consciously reunited with the Anthropos, or the overshadowing substance of itself. 
This is at once the primary purpose and the consummate achievement of the Mysteries: that man 
shall become aware of and consciously be reunited with the divine source of himself without tasting of 
physical dissolution. 


From Law's Figures of Jakob Bohme. 

Just as the diagram representing the front view of man illustrates his divine principles in their regenerated state, so the 
back view of the same figure sets forth the inferior, or "night," condition of the sun. From the Sphere of the Astral Mind a 
line ascends through the Sphere of reason into that of the Senses. The Sphere of the Astral Mind and of the Senses are 
filled with stars to signify the nocturnal condition of their natures. In the sphere of reason, the superior and the inferior 
are reconciled, Reason in the mortal man corresponding to Illumined Understanding in the spiritual man. 


From Law's Figures of Jakob Bohme. 

A tree with its roots in the heart rises from the Mirror of the Deity through the Sphere of the Understanding to branch 
forth in the Sphere of the Senses. The roots and trunk of this tree represent the divine nature of man and may be called his 
spirituality; the branches of the tree are the separate parts of the divine constitution and may be likened to the 
individuality; and the leaves—because of their ephemeral nature—correspond to the personality, which partakes of none 
of the permanence of its divine source. 

The Hiramic Legend 


WHEN Solomon—the beloved of God, builder of the Everlasting House, and Grand Master of the 
Lodge of Jerusalem—ascended the throne of his father David he consecrated his life to the erection of 
a temple to God and a palace for the kings of Israel. David's faithful friend, Hiram, King of Tyre, 
hearing that a son of David sat upon the throne of Israel, sent messages of congratulation and offers 
of assistance to the new ruler. In his History of the Jews, Josephus mentions that copies of the letters 
passing between the two kings were then to be seen both at Jerusalem and at Tyre. Despite Hiram's 
lack of appreciation for the twenty cities of Galilee which Solomon presented to him upon the 
completion of the temple, the two monarchs remained the best of friends. Both were famous for their 
wit and wisdom, and when they exchanged letters each devised puzzling questions to test the mental 
ingenuity of the other. Solomon made an agreement with Hiram of Tyre promising vast amounts of 
barley, wheat, com, wine, and oil as wages for the masons and carpenters from Tyre who were to 
assist the Jews in the erection of the temple. Hiram also supplied cedars and other fine trees, which 
were made into rafts and floated down the sea to Joppa, whence they were taken inland by Solomon's 
workmen to the temple site. 

Because of his great love for Solomon, Hiram of Tyre sent also the Grand Master of the Dionysiac 
Architects, CHiram Abiff, a Widow's Son, who had no equal among the craftsmen of the earth. 
CHiram is described as being "a Tyrian by birch, but of Israelitish descent," and "a second Bezaleel, 
honored by his king with the title of Father." The Freemason's Pocket Companion (published in 1771) 
describes CHiram as "the most cunning, skilful and curious workman that ever lived, whose abilities 
were not confined to building alone, but extended to all kinds of work, whether in gold, silver, brass 
or iron; whether in linen, tapestry, or embroidery; whether considered as an architect, statuary [sic]; 
founder or designer, separately or together, he equally excelled. From his designs, and under his 
direction, all the rich and splendid furniture of the Temple and its several appendages were begun, 
carried on, and finished. Solomon appointed him, in his absence, to fill the chair, as Deputy Grand- 
Master; and in his presence. Senior Grand-Warden, Master of work, and general overseer of all artists, 
as well those whom David had formerly procured from Tyre and Sidon, as those Hiram should now 
send." (Modem Masonic writers differ as to the accuracy of the last sentence.) 

Although an immense amount of labor was involved in its construction, Solomon's Temple— in the 
words of George Oliver— "was only a small building and very inferior in point of size to some of our 
churches." The number of buildings contiguous to it and the vast treasure of gold and precious stones 
used in its construction concentrated a great amount of wealth within the temple area. In the midst of 
the temple stood the Holy of Holies, sometimes called the Oracle. It was an exact cube, each 
dimension being twenty cubits, and exemplified the influence of Egyptian symbolism. The buildings 
of the temple group were ornamented with 1,453 columns of Parian marble, magnificently sculptured, 
and 2,906 pilasters decorated with capitals. There was a broad porch facing the east, and the sanctum 
sanctorum was upon the west. According to tradition, the various buildings and courtyards could 
hold in all 300,000 persons. Both the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies were entirely lined with solid 
gold plates encrusted with jewels. 

King Solomon began the building of the temple in the fourth year of his reign on what would be, 
according to modern calculation, the 21st day of April, and finished it in the eleventh year of his reign 
on the 23rd day of October. The temple was begun in the 480th year after the children of Israel had 
passed the Red Sea. Part of the labor of construction included the building of an artificial foundation 
on the brow of Mount Moriah. The stones for the temple were hoisted from quarries directly beneath 
Mount Moriah and were trued before being brought to the surface. The brass and golden ornaments 
for the temple were cast in molds in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredatha, and the wooden 

parts were all finished before they reached the temple site. The building was put together, 
consequently, without sound and without instruments, all its parts fitting exactly "without the 
hammer of contention, the axe of division, or any tool of mischief." 

Anderson's much-discussed Constitutions of the Free-Masons, published in London in 1723, and 
reprinted by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1734, thus describes the division of the laborers 
engaged in the building of the Everlasting House: 

"But Dagon's Temple, and the finest structures of Tyre and Sidon, could not be compared with the 
Eternal God's Temple at Jerusalem, * * * there were employed about it no less than 3,600 Princes, or 
Master-Masons, to conduct the work according to Solomon's directions, with 80,000 hewers of stone 
in the mountain, or Fellow Craftsmen, and 70,000 labourers, in all 153,600 besides the levy under 
Adoniram to work in the mountains of Lebanon by turns with the Sidonians, viz., 30,000, being in all 
183,600." Daniel Sickels gives 3,300 overseers, instead of 3,600, and lists the three Grand Masters 
separately. The same author estimates the cost of the temple at nearly four thousand millions of 

The Masonic legend of the building of Solomon's Temple does not in every particular parallel the 
Scriptural version, especially in those portions relating to CHiram Abiff. According to the Biblical 
account, this Master workman returned to his own country; in the Masonic allegory he is foully 
murdered. On this point A. E. Waite, in his New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, makes the following 
explanatory comment: 

"The legend of the Master-Builder is the great allegory of Masonry. It happens that his figurative story 
is grounded on the fact of a personality mentioned in Holy Scripture, but this historical background is 
of the accidents and not the essence; the significance is in the allegory and not in any point of history 
which may lie behind it." 

CHiram, as Master of the Builders, divided his workmen into three groups, which were termed 
Entered Apprentices, Felloiv-Craftsmen, and Master Masons. To each division he gave certain 


From an early hand-painted Masonic apron. 

while the mystic symboHsm of Freemasonry decrees that the apron shall be a simple square of white lambskin with 
appropriate flap, Masonic aprons are frequently decorated with curious and impressive figures. "When silk cotton, or 
linen is worn," writes Albert Pike, "the symbolism is lost. Nor is one clothed who blots, defaces, and desecrates the white 
surface with ornamentation, figuring, or colors of any kind." (See Symbolism.) 

To Mars, the ancient plane of cosmic energy, the Atlantean and Chaldean "star gazers" assigned Aries as a diurnal throne 
and Scorpio as a nocturnal throne. Those not raised to spiritual life by initiation are described as "dead from the sting of a 
scorpion," for they wander in the night side of divine power. Through the mystery of the Paschal Lamb, or the attainment 
of the Golden Fleece, these soul are raised into the constructive day Power of Mars in Aries—the symbol of the Creator. 

When worn over the area related to the animal passions, the pure lambskin signifies the regeneration of the procreative 
forces and their consecration to the service of the Deity. The size of the apron, exclusive of the flap, makes it the symbol of 
salvation, for the Mysteries declare that it must consist of 144 square inches. 

The apron shown above contains a wealth of symbolism: the beehive, emblematic of the Masonic lodge itself, the trowel, 
the mallet, and the trestleboad; the rough and trued ashlars; the pyramids and hills of Lebanon; the pillars, the Temple, 
and checkerboard floor; and the blazing star and tools of the Craft. The center of the apron is occupied by the compass 
and square, representative of the Macrocosm an the microcosm, and the alternately black and white serpent of astral light. 
Below is an acacia branch with seven sprigs, signifying the life Centers of the superior and the inferior man. The skull and 
cross bones are a continual reminder that the spiritual nature attains liberation only after the philosophical death of man's 
sensuous personality. 

p. 78 

passwords and signs by which their respective excellence could be quickly determined. While all were 
classified according to their merits some were dissatisfied, for they desired a more exalted position 
than they were capable of filling. At last three Fellow-Craftsmen, more daring than their companions, 
determined to force CHiram to reveal to them the password of the Master's degree. Knowing that 
CHiram always went into the unfinished sanctum sanctorum at high noon to pray, these ruffians— 
whose names were Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum~lay in wait for him, one at each of the main gates of 
the temple. CHiram, about to leave the temple by the south gate, was suddenly confronted by Jubela 
armed with a twenty-four-inch gauge. Upon CHiram's refusal to reveal the Master's Word, the ruffian 
struck him on the throat with the rule, and the wounded Master then hastened to the west gate, where 
Jubelo, armed with a square, awaited him and made a similar demand. Again CHiram was silent, and 
the second assassin struck him on the breast with the square. CHiram thereupon staggered to the east 
gate, only to be met there by Jubelum armed with a maul. When CHiram, refused him the Master's 
Word, Jubelum struck the Master between the eyes with the mallet and CHiram fell dead. 

The body of CHiram was buried by the murderers over the brow of Mount Moriah and a sprig of 
acacia placed upon the grave. The murderers then sought to escape punishment for their crime by 
embarking for Ethiopia, but the port was closed. All three were finally captured, and after admitting 
their guilt were duly executed. Parties of three were then sent out by King Solomon, and one of these 
groups discovered the newly made grave marked by the evergreen sprig. After the Entered 
Apprentices and the Fellow-Craftsmen had failed to resurrect their Master from the dead he was 
finally raised by the Master Mason with the "strong grip of a Lion's Paw." 

To the initiated Builder the name CHiram Abiffsigmfies "My Father, the Universal Spirit, one in 
essence, three in aspect." Thus the murdered Master is a type of the Cosmic Martyr—the crucified 
Spirit of Good, the dying god— whose Mystery is celebrated throughout the world. Among the 
manuscripts of Dr. Sigismund Bastrom, the initiated Rosicrucian, appears the following extract from 
von Welling concerning the true philosophic nature of the Masonic CHiram: 

"The original word DTn, CHiram, is a radical word consisting of three consonants "i n and d i. e. Cheth, 
Resh and Mem. (1) n, Cheth, signifies Chamah, the Sun's light, i. e. the Universal, invisible, cold fire 
of Nature attracted by the Sun, manifested into light and sent down to us and to every planetary body 
belonging to the solar system. (2) i, Resh, signifies nn Ruach, i. e. Spirit, air, wind, as being the 

Vehicle which conveys and collects the light into numberless Foci, wherein the solar rays of light are 
agitated by a circular motion and manifested in Heat and burning Fire. (3) a, or a Mem, signifies 
majim, water, humidity, but rather the mother of water, i. e. Radical Humidity or a particular kind of 
condensed air. These three constitute the Universal Agent or fire of Nature in one word, m^n, CHiram, 
not Hiram." 

Albert Pike mentions several forms of the name CHiram: Khirm, Khurm, and Khur-Om, the latter 
ending in the sacred Hindu monosyllable OM, which may also be extracted from the names of the 
three murderers. Pike further relates the three ruffians to a triad of stars in the constellation of Libra 
and also calls attention to the fact that the Chaldean god Bal~metamorphosed into a demon by the 
Jews—appears in the name of each of the murderers, Jube/a, Jube/o, and Ju5e/um. To interpret the 
Hiramic legend requires familiarity with both the Pythagorean and Qabbalistic systems of numbers 
and letters, and also the philosophic and astronomic cycles of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and 
Brahmins. For example, consider the number 33. The first temple of Solomon stood for thirty-three 
years in its pristine splendor. At the end of that time it was pillaged by the Egyptian King Shishak, 
and finally (588 B.C.) it was completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Jerusalem 
were led into captivity to Babylon. (See General History of Freemasonry, by Robert Macoy.) Also 
King David ruled for thirty-three years in Jerusalem; the Masonic Order is divided into thirty-three 
symbolic degrees; there are thirty-three segments in the human spinal column; and Jesus was 
crucified in the thirty-third year of His life. 

The efforts made to discover the origin of the Hiramic legend show that, while the legend in its 
present form is comparatively modem, its underlying principles run back to remotest antiquity. It is 
generally admitted by modem Masonic scholars that the story of the martyred CHiram is based upon 
the Egyptian rites of Osiris, whose death and resurrection figuratively portrayed the spiritual death of 
man and his regeneration through initiation into the Mysteries. CHiram is also identified with 
Hermes through the inscription on the Emerald Table. From these associations it is evident that 
CHiram is to be considered as a prototype of humanity; in fact he is Plato's Idea (archetype) of man. 
As Adam after the Fall symbolizes the Idea of human degeneration, so CHiram through his 
resurrection symbolizes the Idea of human regeneration. 

On the 19th day of March, 1314, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templars, 
was burned on a pyre erected upon that point of the islet of the Seine, at Paris, where afterwards was 
erected the statue of King Henry IV. (See The Indian Religions, by Hargrave Jennings.) "It is 
mentioned as a tradition in some of the accounts of the burning," writes Jennings, "that Molay, ere he 
expired, summoned Clement, the Pope who had pronounced the bull of abolition against the Order 
and had condemned the Grand Master to the flames, to appear, within forty days, before the Supreme 
Eternal judge, and Philip [the king] to the same awful tribunal within the space of a year. Both 
predictions were fulfilled." The close relationship between Freemasonry and the original Knights 
Templars has caused the story of CHiram to be linked with the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay. 
According to this interpretation, the three ruffians who cruelly slew their Master at the gates of the 
temple because he refused to reveal the secrets of his Order represent the Pope, the king, and the 
executioners. De Molay died maintaining his innocence and refusing to disclose the philosophical and 
magical arcana of the Templars. 

Those who have sought to identify CHiram with the murdered King Charles the First conceive the 
Hiramic legend to have been invented for that purpose by Elias Ashmole, a mystical philosopher, who 
was probably a member of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. Charles was dethroned in 1647 and died on the 
block in 1649, leaving the Royalist party leaderless. An attempt has been made to relate the term "the 
Sons of the Widow" (an appellation frequently applied to members of the Masonic Order) to this 
incident in English history, for by the murder of her king England became a Widow and all 
Englishmen Widow's Sons. 

To the mystic Christian Mason, CHiram. represents the Christ who in three days (degrees) raised the 
temple of His body from its earthly sepulcher. His three murderers were Csesar's agent (the state), the 
Sanhedrin (the church), and the incited populace (the mob). Thus considered, CHiram becomes the 
higher nature of man and the murderers are ignorance, superstition, and fear. The indwelling Christ 
can give expression to Himself in this world only through man's thoughts, feelings, and actions. Right 
thinking, right feeling, and right action—these are three gates through which the Christ power passes 
into the material world, there to labor in the erection of the Temple of Universal Brotherhood. 
Ignorance, superstition, and fear are three ruffians through whose agencies the Spirit of Good is 
murdered and a false kingdom, controlled by wrong thinking, wrong feeling, and wrong action, 
established in its stead. In the material universe evil appears ever victorious. 

"In this sense," writes Daniel Sickels, "the myth of the Tyrian is perpetually repeated in the history of 
human affairs. Orpheus was murdered, and his body thrown into the Hebrus; Socrates was made to 
drink the hemlock; and, in all ages, we have seen Evil temporarily triumphant, and Virtue and Truth 
calumniated, persecuted, crucified, and slain. But Eternal justice marches surely and swiftly through 
the world: the Typhous, the children of darkness, the plotters of crime, all the infinitely varied forms 
of evil, are swept into oblivion; and Truth and Virtue—for a time laid low— come forth, clothed with 
diviner majesty, and crowned with everlasting glory!" (See General Ahiman Rezon.) 

If, as there is ample reason to suspect, the modern Freemasonic Order was profoundly influenced by, 
if it is not an actual outgrowth of, Francis Bacon's secret society, its symbolism is undoubtedly 
permeated with Bacon's two great ideals: universal education and universal democracy. The deadly 
enemies of universal education are ignorance, superstition, and fear, by which the human soul is held 
in bondage to the lowest part of its own constitution. The arrant enemies of universal democracy have 
ever been the crown, the tiara, and the torch. Thus CHiram symbolizes that ideal state of spiritual, 
intellectual, and physical emancipation which has ever been sacrificed upon the altar of human 
selfishness. CHiram is the Beautifier of the Eternal House. Modern utilitarianism, however, sacrifices 
the beautiful for the practical, in the same breath declaring the obvious lie that selfishness, hatred, 
and discord are practical. 

Dr. Orville Ward Owen found a considerable part of the first 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities. 

A hand covered with numerous symbols was extended to the neophj^es when they entered into the Temple of Wisdom. An 
understanding of the embossed upon the surface of the hand brought with it Divine power and regeneration Therefore, by 
means of these symbolic hands the candidate was said to be raised from the dead. 


thirty-two degrees of Freemasonic ritualism hidden in the text of the First Shakespeare Foho. 
Masonic emblems are to be observed also upon the title pages of nearly every book published by 
Bacon. Sir Francis Bacon considered himself as a living sacrifice upon the altar of human need; he 
was obviously cut down in the midst of his labors, and no student of his New Atlantis can fail to 
recognize the Masonic symbolism contained therein. According to the observations of Joseph Fort 
Newton, the Temple of Solomon described by Bacon in that Utopian romance was not a house at all 
but the name of an ideal state. Is it not true that the Temple of Freemasonry is also emblematic of a 
condition of society? While, as before stated, the principles of the Hiramic legend are of the greatest 
antiquity, it is not impossible that its present form may be based upon incidents in the life of Lord 
Bacon, who passed through the philosophic death and was raised in Germany. 

In an old manuscript appears the statement that the Freemasonic Order was formed by alchemists 
and Hermetic philosophers who had banded themselves together to protect their secrets against the 
infamous methods used by avaricious persons to wring from them the secret of gold-making. The fact 
that the Hiramic legend contains an alchemical formula gives credence to this story. Thus the 
building of Solomon's Temple represents the consummation of the magnum opus, which cannot be 
realized without the assistance of CHiram, the Universal Agent. The Masonic Mysteries teach the 
initiate how to prepare within his own soul a miraculous powder of projection by which it is possible 
for him to transmute the base lump of human ignorance, perversion, and discord into an ingot of 
spiritual and philosophic gold. 

Sufficient similarity exists between the Masonic CHiram and the Kundalini of Hindu mysticism to 
warrant the assumption that CHiram may be considered a symbol also of the Spirit Fire moving 
through the sixth ventricle of the spinal column. The exact science of human regeneration is the Lost 
Key of Masonry, for when the Spirit Fire is lifted up through the thirty-three degrees, or segments of 
the spinal column, and enters into the domed chamber of the human skull, it finally passes into the 
pituitary body (Isis), where it invokes Ra (the pineal gland) and demands the Sacred Name. Operative 
Masonry, in the fullest meaning of that term, signifies the process by which the Eye of Horus is 
opened. E. A. Wallis Budge has noted that in some of the papyri illustrating the entrance of the souls 
of the dead into the judgment hall of Osiris the deceased person has a pine cone attached to the crown 
of his head. The Greek mystics also carried a symbolic staff, the upper end being in the form of a pine 
cone, which was called the thyrsus of Bacchus. In the human brain there is a tiny gland called the 
pineal body, which is the sacred eye of the ancients, and corresponds to the third eye of the Cyclops. 
Little is known concerning the function of the pineal body, which Descartes suggested (more wisely 
than he knew) might be the abode of the spirit of man. As its name signifies, the pineal gland is the 
sacred pine cone in man—the eye single, which cannot be opened until CHiram (the Spirit Fire) is 
raised through the sacred seals which are called the Seven Churches in Asia. 

There is an Oriental painting which shows three sun bursts. One sunburst covers the head, in the 
midst of which sits Brahma with four heads, his body a mysterious dark color. The second sunburst— 
which covers the heart, solar plexus, and upper abdominal region—shows Vishnu sitting in the 
blossom of the lotus on a couch formed of the coils of the serpent of cosmic motion, its seven-hooded 
head forming a canopy over the god. The third sunburst is over the generative system, in the midst of 
which sits Shiva, his body a grayish white and the Ganges River flowing out of the crown of his head. 
This painting was the work of a Hindu mystic who spent many years subtly concealing great 
philosophical principles within these figures. The Christian legends could be related also to the 
human body by the same method as the Oriental, for the arcane meanings hidden in the teachings of 
both schools are identical. 

As applied to Masonry, the three sunbursts represent the gates of the temple at which CHiram was 

struck, there being no gate in the north because the sun never shines from the northern angle of the 
heavens. The north is the symbol of the physical because of its relation to ice (crystallized water) and 
to the body (crystallized spirit). In man the light shines toward the north but never from it, because 
the body has no light of its own but shines with the reflected glory of the divine life-particles 
concealed within physical substance. For this reason the moon is accepted as the symbol of man's 
physical nature. CHiram is the mysterious fiery, airy water which must be raised through the three 
grand centers symbolized by the ladder with three rungs and the sunburst flowers mentioned in the 
description of the Hindu painting. It must also pass upward by means of the ladder of seven rungs- 
the seven plexuses proximate to the spine. The nine segments of the sacrum and coccyx are pierced by 
ten foramina, through which pass the roots of the Tree of Life. Nine is the sacred number of man, and 
in the symbolism of the sacrum and coccyx a great mystery is concealed. That part of the body from 
the kidneys downward was termed by the early Qabbalists the Land of Egypt into which the children 
of Israel were taken during the captivity. Out of Egypt, Moses (the illuminated mind, as his name 
implies) led the tribes of Israel (the twelve faculties) by raising the brazen serpent in the wilderness 
upon the symbol of the Tau cross. Not only CHiram but the god-men of nearly every pagan Mystery 
ritual are personifications of the Spirit Fire in the human spinal cord. 

The astronomical aspect of the Hiramic legend must not be overlooked. The tragedy of CHiram is 
enacted annually by the sun during its passage through the signs of the zodiac. 

"From the journey of the Sun through the twelve signs," writes Albert Pike, "come the legend of the 
twelve labors of Hercules, and the incarnations of Vishnu and Buddha. Hence came the legend of the 
murder of Khurum, representative of the Sun, by the three Fellow-Crafts, symbols of the Winter signs, 
Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces, who assailed him at the three gates of Heaven and slew him at the 
Winter Solstice. Hence the search for him by the nine Fellow-Crafts, the other nine signs, his finding, 
burial, and resurrection." (See Morals and Dogma.) 

Other authors consider Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius as the three murderers of the sun, inasmuch as 
Osiris was murdered by Typhon, to whom were assigned the thirty degrees of the constellation of 
Scorpio. In the Christian Mysteries also Judas signifies the Scorpion, and the thirty pieces of silver for 
which he betrayed His Lord represent the number of degrees in that sign. Having been struck by 
Libra (the state), Scorpio (the church), and Sagittarius (the mob), the sun (CHiram) is secretly home 
through the darkness by the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces and buried over the brow of a 
hill (the vernal equinox). Capricorn has for its symbol an old man with a scythe in his hand. This is 
Father Time—a wayfarer —who is symbolized in Masonry as straightening out the ringlets of a young 
girl's hair. If the Weeping Virgin be considered a symbol of Virgo, and Father Time with his scythe a 
symbol of Capricorn, then the interval of ninety degrees between these two signs will be found to 
correspond to that occupied by the three murderers. Esoterically, the urn containing the ashes of 
CHiram represents the human heart. Saturn, the old man who lives at the north pole, and brings with 
him to the children of men a sprig of evergreen (the Christmas tree), is familiar to the little folks 
under the name of Santa Clous, for he brings each winter the gift of a new year. 

The martyred sun is discovered by Aries, a Fellow-Craftsman, and at the vernal equinox the process of 
raising him begins. This is finally accomplished by the Lion of Judah, who in ancient times occupied 
the position of the keystone of the Royal Arch of Heaven. The precession of the equinoxes causes 
various signs to play the role of the murderers of the sun during the different ages of the world, but 
the principle involved remains unchanged. Such is the cosmic story of CHiram, the Universal 
Benefactor, the Fiery Architect: of the Divine House, who carries with him to the grave that Lost 
Word which, when spoken, raises all life to power and glory. According to Christian mysticism, when 
the Lost Word is found it is discovered in a stable, surrounded by beasts and marked by a star. "After 
the sun leaves Leo," writes Robert Hewitt Brown, "the days begin to grow unequivocally shorter as the 
sun declines toward the autumnal equinox, to be again slain by the three autumnal months, lie dead 

through the three winter ones, and be raised again by the three vernal ones. Each year the great 
tragedy is repeated, and the glorious resurrection takes place." (See Stellar Theology and Masonic 

CHiram is termed dead because in the average individual the cosmic creative forces are limited in 
their manifestation to purely physical—and correspondingly materialistic—expression. Obsessed by 
his belief in the reality and permanence of physical existence, man does not correlate the material 
universe with the blank north wall of the temple. As the solar light symbolically is said to die as it 
approaches the winter solstice, so the physical world maybe termed 

Crowned with a triple tower-like tiara and her form adorned with symbolic creatures representative of her spiritual 
powers, Diana stood for the source of that imperishable doctrine which, flowing from the bosom of the Great 
Multimammia, is the spiritual food of those aspiring men and women who have consecrated their lives to the 
contemplation of reality. As the physical body of man receives its nutriment from the Great Earth Mother, so the spiritual 
nature of man is fed from the never failing fountains of Truth pouring outward from the invisible worlds. 

the winter solstice of the spirit. Reaching the winter solstice, the sun apparently stands still for three 
days and then, rolling away the stone of winter, begins its triumphal march north towards the 
summer solstice. The condition of ignorance may be likened to the winter solstice of philosophy; 
spiritual understanding to the summer solstice. From this point of view, initiation into the Mysteries 
becomes the vernal equinox of the spirit, at which time the CHiram in man crosses from the realm of 


From Montfaucon's Antiquities. 

p. 80 

mortality into that of eternal life. The autumnal equinox is analogous to the mythological /a// of man, 
at which time the human spirit descended into the realms of Hades by being immersed in the illusion 
of terrestrial existence. 

In An Essay on the Beautiful, Plotinus describes the refining effect of beauty upon the unfolding 
consciousness of man. Commissioned to decorate the Everlasting House, CHiram Abiff is the 
embodiment of the beautifying principle. Beauty is essential to the natural unfoldment of the human 
soul. The Mysteries held that man, in part at least, was the product of his environment. Therefore 
they considered it imperative that every person be surrounded by objects which would evoke the 
highest and noblest sentiments. They proved that it was possible to produce beauty in life by 
surrounding life with beauty. They discovered that symmetrical bodies were built by souls 
continuously in the presence of symmetrical bodies; that noble thoughts were produced by minds 
surrounded by examples of mental nobility. Conversely, if a man were forced to look upon an ignoble 
or asymmetrical structure it would arouse within him a sense of ignobility which would provoke him 
to commit ignoble deeds. If an ill-proportioned building were erected in the midst of a city there 
would be ill-proportioned children born in that community; and men and women, gazing upon the 
asymmetrical structure, would live inharmonious lives. Thoughtful men of antiquity realized that 
their great philosophers were the natural products of the aesthetic ideals of architecture, music, and 
art established as the standards of the cultural systems of the time. 

The substitution of the discord of the fantastic for the harmony of the beautiful constitutes one of the 
great tragedies of every civilization. Not only were the Savior-Gods of the ancient world beautiful, but 
each performed a ministry of beauty, seeking to effect man's regeneration by arousing within him the 
love of the beautiful. A renaissance of the golden age of fable can be made possible only by the 
elevation of beauty to its rightful dignity as the all-pervading, idealizing quality in the religious, 
ethical, sociological, scientific, and political departments of life. The Dionysiac Architects were 
consecrated to the raising of their Master Spirit—Cosmic Beauty—from the sepulcher of material 
ignorance and selfishness by erecting buildings which were such perfect exemplars of symmetry and 
majesty that they were actually magical formulee by which was evoked the spirit of the martyred 
Beautifier entombed within a materialistic world. 

In the Masonic Mysteries the triune spirit of man (the light Delta) is symbolized by the three Grand 
Masters of the Lodge of Jerusalem. As God is the pervading principle of three worlds, in each of which 
He manifests as an active principle, so the spirit of man, partaking of the nature of Divinity, dwells 
upon three planes of being: the Supreme, the Superior, and the Inferior spheres of the Pythagoreans. 
At the gate of the Inferior sphere (the underworld, or dwelling place of mortal creatures) stands the 
guardian of Hades— the three— headed dog Cerberus, who is analogous to the three murderers of the 
Hiramic legend. According to this symbolic interpretation of the triune spirit, CHiram is the third, or 
incarnating, part— the Master Builder who through all ages erects living temples of flesh and blood as 
shrines of the Most High. CHiram comes forth as a flower and is cut down; he dies at the gates of 
matter; he is buried in the elements of creation, but— like Thor— he swings his mighty hammer in the 
fields of space, sets the primordial atoms in motion, and establishes order out of Chaos. As the 
potentiality of cosmic power within each human soul, CHiram lies waiting for man by the elaborate 
ritualism of life to transmute potentiality into divine potency. As the sense perceptions of the 
individual increase, however, man gains ever greater control over his various parts, and the spirit of 
life within gradually attains freedom. The three murderers represent the laws of the Inferior world- 
birth, growth, and decay— which ever frustrate the plan of the Builder. To the average individual, 
physical birch actually signifies the death of CHiram, and physical death the resurrection of CHiram. 
To the initiate, however, the resurrection of the spiritual nature is accomplished without the 
intervention of physical death. 

The curious symbols found in the base of Cleopatra's Needle now standing in Central Park, New York, 
were interpreted as being of first Masonic significance by S. A. Zola, 33° Past Grand Master of the 

Grand Lodge of Egypt. Masons' marks and symbols are to be found on the stones of numerous public 
buildings not only in England and on the Continent but also in Asia. In his Indian Masons' Marks of 
the Moghul Dynasty, A. Gorham describes scores of markings appearing on the walls of buildings 
such as the Taj Mahal, the Jama Masjid, and that: famous Masonic structure, the Kutab Minar. 
According to those who regard Masonry as an outgrowth of the secret society of architects and 
builders which for thousands of years formed a caste of master craftsmen, CHiram Abiff was the 
Tyrian Grand Master of a world-wide organization of artisans, with headquarters in Tyre. Their 
philosophy consisted of incorporating into the measurements and ornamentation of temples, palaces, 
mausoleums, fortresses, and other public buildings their knowledge of the laws controlling the 
universe. Every initiated workman was given a hieroglyphic with which he marked the stones he 
trued to show to all posterity that he thus dedicated to the Supreme Architect of the Universe each 
perfected product of his labor. Concerning Masons' marks, Robert Freke Gould writes: 

"It is very remarkable that these marks are to be found in all countries—in the chambers of the Great 
Pyramid at Gizeh, on the underground walls of Jerusalem, in Herculaneum and Pompeii, on Roman 
walls and Grecian temples, in Hindustan, Mexico, Peru, Asia Minor—as well as on the great ruins of 
England, France, Germany, Scotland, Italy, Portugal and Spain." (See A Concise History of 

From this viewpoint the story of CHiram may well represent the incorporation of the divine secrets of 
architecture into the actual parts and dimensions of earthly buildings. The three degrees of the Craft 
bury the Grand Master (the Great Arcanum) in the actual structure they erect, after first having killed 
him with the builders' tools, by reducing the dimensionless Spirit of Cosmic Beauty to the limitations 
of concrete form. These abstract ideals of architecture can be resurrected, however, by the Master 
Mason who, by meditating upon the structure, releases therefrom the divine principles of 
architectonic philosophy incorporated or buried within it. Thus the physical building is actually the 
tomb or embodiment of the Creative Ideal of which its material dimensions are but the shadow. 

Moreover, the Hiramic legend may be considered to embody the vicissitudes of philosophy itself. As 
institutions for the dissemination of ethical culture, the pagan Mysteries were the architects of 
civilization. Their power and dignity were personified in CHiram Abiff— the Master Builder— but they 
eventually fell a victim to the onslaughts of that recurrent trio of state, church, and mob. They were 
desecrated by the state, jealous of their wealth and power; by the early church, fearful of their wisdom; 
and by the rabble or soldiery incited by both state and church. As CHiram when raised from his grave 
whispers the Master Mason's Word which was lost through his untimely death, so according to the 
tenets of philosophy the reestablishment or resurrection of the ancient Mysteries will result in the 
rediscovery of that secret teaching without which civilization must continue in a state of spiritual 
confusion and uncertainty. 

When the mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by 
superstition; and when the state governs, he is ruled by fear. Before men can live together in harmony 
and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom, superstition into an illumined faith, 
and fear into love. Despite statements to the contrary. Masonry is a religion seeking to unite God and 
man by elevating its initiates to that level of consciousness whereon they can behold with clarified 
vision the workings of the Great Architect of the Universe. From age to age the vision of a perfect 
civilization is preserved as the ideal for mankind. In the midst of that civilization shall stand a mighty 
university wherein both the sacred and secular sciences concerning the mysteries of life will be freely 
taught to all who will assume the philosophic life. Here creed and dogma will have no place; the 
superficial will be removed and only the essential be preserved. The world will be ruled by its most 
illumined minds, and each will occupy the position for which he is most admirably fitted. 

The great university will be divided into grades, admission to which will be through preliminary tests 
or initiations. Here mankind will be instructed in the most sacred, the most secret, and the most 

enduring of all Mysteries— Symbolism. Here the initiate will be taught that every visible object, every 
abstract thought, every emotional reaction is but the symbol of an eternal principle. Here mankind 
will learn that CHiram (Truth) lies buried in every atom of Kosmos; that every form is a symbol and 
every symbol the tomb of an eternal verity. Through education—spiritual, mental, moral, and 
physical—man will learn to release living truths from their lifeless coverings. The perfect government 
of the earth must be patterned eventually after that divine government by which the universe is 
ordered. In that day when perfect order is reestablished, with peace universal and good triumphant, 
men will no longer seek for happiness, for they shall find it welling up within themselves. Dead hopes, 
dead aspirations, dead virtues shall rise from their graves, and the Spirit of Beauty and Goodness 
repeatedly slain by ignorant men shall again be the Master of Work. Then shall sages sit upon the 
seats of the mighty and the gods walk with men. 

p. 81 

The Pythagorean Theory of Music and 


HARMONY is a state recognized by great philosophers as the immediate prerequisite of beauty. A 
compound is termed beautiful only when its parts are in harmonious combination. The world is 
called beautiful and its Creator is designated the Good because good perforce must act in conformity 
with its own nature; and good acting according to its own nature is harmony, because the good which 
it accomplishes is harmonious with the good which it is. Beauty, therefore, is harmony manifesting its 
own intrinsic nature in the world of form. 

The universe is made up of successive gradations of good, these gradations ascending from matter 
(which is the least degree of good) to spirit (which is the greatest degree of good). In man, his 
superior nature is the summum bonum. It therefore follows that his highest nature most readily 
cognizes good because the good external to him in the world is in harmonic ratio with the good 
present in his soul. What man terms evil is therefore, in common with matter, merely the least degree 
of its own opposite. The least degree of good presupposes likewise the least degree of harmony and 
beauty. Thus deformity (evil) is really the least harmonious combination of elements naturally 
harmonic as individual units. Deformity is unnatural, for, the sum of all things being the Good, it is 
natural that all things should partake of the Good and be arranged in combinations that are 
harmonious. Harmony is the manifesting expression of the Will of the eternal Good. 


It is highly probable that the Greek initiates gained their knowledge of the philosophic and 
therapeutic aspects of music from the Egyptians, who, in turn, considered Hermes the founder of the 
art. According to one legend, this god constructed the first lyre by stretching strings across the 
concavity of a turtle shell. Both Isis and Osiris were patrons of music and poetry. Plato, in describing 
the antiquity of these arts among the Egyptians, declared that songs and poetry had existed in Egypt 
for at least ten thousand years, and that these were of such an exalted and inspiring nature that only 
gods or godlike men could have composed them. In the Mysteries the lyre was regarded as the secret 
symbol of the human constitution, the body of the instrument representing the physical form, the 
strings the nerves, and the musician the spirit. Playing upon the nerves, the spirit thus created the 
harmonies of normal functioning, which, however, became discords if the nature of man were defiled. 

While the early Chinese, Hindus, Persians, Egyptians, Israelites, and Greeks employed both vocal and 
instrumental music in their religious ceremonials, also to complement their poetry and drama, it 
remained for Pythagoras to raise the art to its true dignity by demonstrating its mathematical 
foundation. Although it is said that he himself was not a musician, Pythagoras is now generally 
credited with the discovery of the diatonic scale. Having first learned the divine theory of music from 
the priests of the various Mysteries into which he had been accepted, Pythagoras pondered for several 
years upon the laws governing consonance and dissonance. How he actually solved the problem is 
unknown, but the following explanation has been invented. 

One day while meditating upon the problem of harmony, Pythagoras chanced to pass a brazier's shop 
where workmen were pounding out a piece of metal upon an anvil. By noting the variances in pitch 
between the sounds made by large hammers and those made by smaller implements, and carefully 
estimating the harmonies and discords resulting from combinations of these sounds, he gained his 
first clue to the musical intervals of the diatonic scale. He entered the shop, and after carefully 
examining the tools and making mental note of their weights, returned to his own house and 

constructed an arm of wood so that it: extended out from the wall of his room. At regular intervals 

along this arm he attached four cords, all of like composition, size, and weight. To the first of these he 
attached a twelve-pound weight, to the second a nine-pound weight, to the third an eight-pound 
weight, and to the fourth a six-pound weight. These different weights corresponded to the sizes of the 
braziers' hammers. 

Pythagoras thereupon discovered that the first and fourth strings when sounded together produced 
the harmonic interval of the octave, for doubling the weight had the same effect as halving the string. 
The tension of the first string being twice that of the fourth string, their ratio was said to be 2:1, or 
duple. By similar experimentation he ascertained that the first and third string produced the harmony 
of the diapente, or the interval of the fifth. The tension of the first string being half again as much as 
that of the third string, their ratio was said to be 3:2, or sesquialter. Likewise the second and fourth 
strings, having the same ratio as the first and third strings, yielded a diapente harmony. Continuing 
his investigation, Pythagoras discovered that the first and second strings produced the harmony of 
the diatessaron, or the interval of the third; and the tension of the first string being a third greater 
than that of the second string, their ratio was said to be 4:3, or sesquitercian. The third and fourth 
strings, having the same ratio as the first and second strings, produced another harmony of the 
diatessaron. According to lamblichus, the second and third strings had the ratio of 8:9, or epogdoan. 

The key to harmonic ratios is hidden in the famous Pythagorean tetractys, or pyramid of dots. The 
tetractys is made up of the first four numbers~i, 2, 3, and 4~which in their proportions reveal the 
intervals of the octave, the diapente, and the diatessaron. While the law of harmonic intervals as set 
forth above is true, it has been subsequently proved that hammers striking metal in the manner 


From Stanley's The History of Philosophy. 

In the Pythagorean concept of the music of the spheres, the interval between the earth and the sphere of the fixed stars 
was considered to be a diapason—the most perfect harmonic interval. The allowing arrangement is most generally 
accepted for the musical intervals of the planets between the earth and the sphere of the fixed stars: From the sphere of 
the earth to the sphere of the moon; one tone; from the sphere of the moon to that of Mercury, one half-tone; from 
Mercury to Venus, one-half; from Venus to the sun, one and one-half tones; from the sun to Mars, one tone; from Mars to 
Jupiter, one-half tone; from Jupiter to Saturn, one-half tone; from Saturn to the fixed stars, one-half tone. The sum of 
these intervals equals the six whole tones of the octave. 


From Fludd's De Musica Mundana. 

This diagrammatic sector represents the major gradations of energy and substance between elemental earth and absolute 
unconditioned force. Beginning with the superior, the fifteen graduated spheres descend in the following order: Limitless 
and Eternal Life; the superior, the middle, and the inferior Empyrean; the seven planets; and the four elements. Energy is 
symbolized by Fludd as a pyramid with its base upon the concave surface of the superior Empyrean, and substance as 
another Pyramid with its base upon the convex surface of the sphere (not planet) of earth. These pyramids demonstrate 
the relative proportions of energy and substance entering into the composition of the fifteen planes of being. It will be 
noted that the ascending pyramid of substance touches but does not pierce the fifteenth sphere—that of Limitless and 
Eternal Life. Likewise, the descending pyramid of energy touches but does not pierce the first sphere—the grossest 
condition of substance. The plane of the sun is denominated the sphere of equality, for here neither energy nor substance 
predominate. The mundane monochord consists of a hypothetical string stretched from the base of the pyramid of energy 
to the base of the pyramid of substance. 

p. 82 

described will not produce the various tones ascribed to them. In all probability, therefore, 
Pythagoras actually worked out his theory of harmony from the monochord~a contrivance consisting 
of a single string stretched between two pegs and supplied with movable frets. 

To Pythagoras music was one of the dependencies of the divine science of mathematics, and its 
harmonies were inflexibly controlled by mathematical proportions. The Pythagoreans averred that 
mathematics demonstrated the exact method by which the good established and maintained its 
universe. Number therefore preceded harmony, since it was the immutable law that governs all 
harmonic proportions. After discovering these harmonic ratios, Pythagoras gradually initiated his 
disciples into this, the supreme arcanum of his Mysteries. He divided the multitudinous parts of 
creation into a vast number of planes or spheres, to each of which he assigned a tone, a harmonic 
interval, a number, a name, a color, and a form. He then proceeded to prove the accuracy of his 
deductions by demonstrating them upon the different planes of intelligence and substance ranging 
from the most abstract logical premise to the most concrete geometrical solid. From the common 
agreement of these diversified methods of proof he established the indisputable existence of certain 
natural laws. 

Having once established music as an exact science, Pythagoras applied his newly found law of 
harmonic intervals to all the phenomena of Nature, even going so far as to demonstrate the harmonic 
relationship of the planets, constellations, and elements to each other. A notable example of modern 
corroboration of ancient philosophical reaching is that of the progression of the elements according to 
harmonic ratios. While making a list of the elements in the ascending order of their atomic weights, 
John A. Newlands discovered at every eighth element a distinct repetition of properties. This 
discovery is known as the law of octaves in modern chemistry. 

Since they held that harmony must be determined not by the sense perceptions but by reason and 
mathematics, the Pythagoreans called themselves Canonics, as distinguished from musicians of the 
Harmonic School, who asserted taste and instinct to be the true normative principles of harmony. 
Recognizing, however, the profound effect: of music upon the senses and emotions, Pythagoras did 
not hesitate to influence the mind and body with what he termed "musical medicine." 

Pythagoras evinced such a marked preference for stringed instruments that he even went so far as to 
warn his disciples against allowing their ears to be defiled by the sounds of flutes or cymbals. He 
further declared that the soul could be purified from its irrational influences by solemn songs sung to 
the accompaniment of the lyre. In his investigation of the therapeutic value of harmonics, Pythagoras 
discovered that the seven modes—or keys—of the Greek system of music had the power to incite or 
allay the various emotions. It is related that while observing the stars one night he encountered a 
young man befuddled with strong drink and mad with jealousy who was piling faggots about his 
mistress' door with the intention of burning the house. The frenzy of the youth was accentuated by a 
flutist a short distance away who was playing a tune in the stirring Phrygian mode. Pythagoras 
induced the musician to change his air to the slow, and rhythmic Spondaic mode, whereupon the 
intoxicated youth immediately became composed and, gathering up his bundles of wood, returned 
quietly to his own home. 

There is also an account of how Empedocles, a disciple of Pythagoras, by quickly changing the mode 
of a musical composition he was playing, saved the life of his host, Anchitus, when the latter was 
threatened with death by the sword of one whose father he had condemned to public execution. It is 
also known that Esculapius, the Greek physician, cured sciatica and other diseases of the nerves by 
blowing a loud trumpet in the presence of the patient. 

Pythagoras cured many ailments of the spirit, soul, and body by having certain specially prepared 
musical compositions played in the presence of the sufferer or by personally reciting short selections 
from such early poets as Hesiod and Homer. In his university at Crotona it was customary for the 
Pythagoreans to open and to close each day with songs— those in the morning calculated to clear the 
mind from sleep and inspire it to the activities of the coming day; those in the evening of a mode 
soothing, relaxing, and conducive to rest. At the vernal equinox, Pjithagoras caused his disciples to 

gather in a circle around one of their number who led them in song and played their accompaniment 
upon a lyre. 

The therapeutic music of Pythagoras is described by lamblichus thus: "And there are certain melodies 
devised as remedies against the passions of the soul, and also against despondency and lamentation, 
which Pythagoras invented as things that afford the greatest assistance in these maladies. And again, 
he employed other melodies against rage and anger, and against every aberration of the soul. There is 
also another kind of modulation invented as a remedy against desires." (See The Life of Pythagoras.) 

It is probable that the Pythagoreans recognized a connection between the seven Greek modes and the 
planets. As an example, Pliny declares that Saturn moves in the Dorian mode and Jupiter in the 
Phrygian mode. It is also apparent that the temperaments are keyed to the various modes, and the 
passions likewise. Thus, anger—which is a fiery passion— may be accentuated by a fiery mode or its 
power neutralized by a watery mode. 

The far-reaching effect exercised by music upon the culture of the Greeks is thus summed up by Emil 
Nauman: "Plato depreciated the notion that music was intended solely to create cheerful and 
agreeable emotions, maintaining rather that it should inculcate a love of all that is noble, and hatred 
of all that is mean, and that nothing could more strongly influence man's innermost feelings than 
melody and rhythm. Firmly convinced of this, he agreed with Damon of Athens, the musical 
instructor of Socrates, that the introduction of a new and presumably enervating scale would 
endanger the future of a whole nation, and that it was not possible to alter a key without shaking the 
very foundations of the State. Plato affirmed that music which ennobled the mind was of a far higher 
kind than that which merely appealed to the senses, and he strongly insisted that it was the 
paramount duty of the Legislature to suppress all music of an effeminate and lascivious character, 
and to encourage only s that which was pure and dignified; that bold and stirring melodies were for 
men, gentle and soothing ones for women. From this it is evident that music played a considerable 
part in the education of the Greek youth. The greatest care was also to be taken in the selection of 
instrumental music, because the absence of words rendered its signification doubtful, and it was 
difficult to foresee whether it would exercise upon the people a benign or baneful influence. Popular 
taste, being always tickled by sensuous and meretricious effects, was to be treated with deserved 
contempt. (See The History of Music.) 

Even today martial music is used with telling effect in times of war, and religious music, while no 
longer developed in accordance with the ancient theory, still profoundly influences the emotions of 
the laity. 


The most sublime but least known of all the Pythagorean speculations was that of sidereal harmonics. 
It was said that of all men only Pythagoras heard the music of the spheres. Apparently the Chaldeans 
were the first people to conceive of the heavenly bodies joining in a cosmic chant as they moved in 
stately manner across the sky. Job describes a time "when the stars of the morning sang together," 
and in The Merchant of Venice the author of the Shakesperian plays 


From Fludd's De Musica Mundana. 

In this chart is set forth a summary of Fludd's theory of universal music. The interval between the element of earth and 
the highest heaven is considered as a double octave, thus showing the two extremes of existence to be in disdiapason 
harmony. It is signifies that the highest heaven, the sun, and the earth have the same time, the difference being in pitch. 
The sun is the lower octave of the highest heaven and the earth the lower octave of the sun. The lower octave (T to G) 
comprises that part of the universe in which substance predominate over energy. Its harmonies, therefore, are more gross 
than those of the higher octave (G to g) wherein energy predominates over substance. "If struck in the more spiritual 
part," writes Fludd, "the monochord will give eternal life; if in the more material part, transitory life." It will be noted that 
certain elements, planets, and celestial spheres sustain a harmonic ratio to each other, Fludd advanced this as a key to the 
sympathies and antipathies existing between the various departments of Nature. 

p. 83 

writes: "There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st but in his motion like an angel sings." So 
little remains, however, of the Pythagorean system of celestial music that it is only possible to 
approximate his actual theory. 

Pythagoras conceived the universe to be an immense monochord, with its single string connected at 
its upper end to absolute spirit and at its lower end to absolute matter—in other words, a cord 

stretched between heaven and earth. Counting inward from the circumference of the heavens, 
Pythagoras, according to some authorities, divided the universe into nine parts; according to others, 
into twelve parts. The twelvefold system was as follows: The first division was called the empyrean, or 
the sphere of the fixed stars, and was the dwelling place of the immortals. The second to twelfth 
divisions were (in order) the spheres of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the sun, Venus, Mercury, and the moon, 
and fire, air, water, and earth. This arrangement of the seven planets (the sun and moon being 
regarded as planets in the old astronomy) is identical with the candlestick symbolism of the Jews—the 
sun in the center as the main stem with three planets on either side of it. 

The names given by the Pythagoreans to the various notes of the diatonic scale were, according to 
Macrobius, derived from an estimation of the velocity and magnitude of the planetary bodies. Each of 
these gigantic spheres as it rushed endlessly through space was believed to sound a certain tone 
caused by its continuous displacement of the sethereal diffusion. As these tones were a manifestation 
of divine order and motion, it must necessarily follow that they partook of the harmony of their own 
source. "The assertion that the planets in their revolutions round the earth uttered certain sounds 
differing according to their respective 'magnitude, celerity and local distance,' was commonly made 
by the Greeks. Thus Saturn, the farthest planet, was said to give the gravest note, while the Moon, 
which is the nearest, gave the sharpest. 'These sounds of the seven planets, and the sphere of the fixed 
stars, together with that above us [Antichthon], are the nine Muses, and their joint symphony is 
called Mnemosyne.'" (See The Canon.)This quotation contains an obscure reference to the ninefold 
division of the universe previously mentioned. 

The Greek initiates also recognized a fundamental relationship between the individual heavens or 
spheres of the seven planets, and the seven sacred vowels. The first heaven uttered the sound of the 
sacred vowel A (Alpha); the second heaven, the sacred vowel E (Epsilon); the third, H (Eta); the 
fourth, I (Iota); the fifth, O (Omicron); the sixth, Y (Upsilon); and the seventh heaven, the sacred 
vowel n (Omega). When these seven heavens sing together they produce a perfect harmony which 
ascends as an everlasting praise to the throne of the Creator. (See Irenseus' Against Heresies.) 
Although not so stated, it is probable that the planetary heavens are to be considered as ascending in 
the Pythagorean order, beginning with the sphere of the moon, which would be the first heaven. 

Many early instruments had seven Strings, and it is generally conceded that Pythagoras was the one 
who added the eighth string to the lyre of Terpander. The seven strings were always related both to 
their correspondences in the human body and to the planets. The names of God were also conceived 
to be formed from combinations of the seven planetary harmonies. The Egyptians confined their 
sacred songs to the seven primary sounds, forbidding any others to be uttered in their temples. One of 
their hymns contained the following invocation: "The seven sounding tones praise Thee, the Great 
God, the ceaseless working Father of the whole universe." In another the Deity describes Himself thus: 
"I am the great indestructible lyre of the whole world, attuning the songs of the heavens. (See 
Nauman's History of Music.) 

The Pythagoreans believed that everything which existed had a voice and that all creatures were 
eternally singing the praise of the Creator. Man fails to hear these divine melodies because his soul is 
enmeshed in the illusion of material existence. When he liberates himself from the bondage of the 
lower world with its sense limitations, the music of the spheres will again be audible as it was in the 
Golden Age. Harmony recognizes harmony, and when the human soul regains its true estate it will 
not only hear the celestial choir but also join with it in an everlasting anthem of praise to that Eternal 
Good controlling the infinite number of parts and conditions of Being. 

The Greek Mysteries included in their doctrines a magnificent concept of the relationship existing 
between music and form. The elements of architecture, for example, were considered as comparable 
to musical modes and notes, or as having a musical counterpart. Consequently when a building was 
erected in which a number of these elements were combined, the structure was then likened to a 

musical chord, which was harmonic only when it fully satisfied the mathematical requirements of 
harmonic intervals. The realization of this analogy between sound and form led Goethe to declare that 
"architecture is crystallized music." 

In constructing their temples of initiation, the early priests frequently demonstrated their superior 
knowledge of the principles underlying the phenomena known as vibration. A considerable part of the 
Mystery rituals consisted of invocations and intonements, for which purpose special sound chambers 
were constructed. A word whispered in one of these apartments was so intensified that the 
reverberations made the entire building sway and be filled with a deafening roar. The very wood and 
stone used in the erection of these sacred buildings eventually became so thoroughly permeated with 
the sound vibrations of the religious ceremonies that when struck they would reproduce the same 
tones thus repeatedly impressed into their substances by the rituals. 

Every element in Nature has its individual keynote. If these elements are combined in a composite 
structure the result is a chord that, if sounded, will disintegrate the compound into its integral parts. 
Likewise each individual has a keynote that, if sounded, will destroy him. The allegory of the walls of 
Jericho falling when the trumpets of Israel were sounded is undoubtedly intended to set forth the 
arcane significance of individual keynote or vibration. 


"Light," writes Edwin D. Babbitt, "reveals the glories of the external world and yet is the most glorious 
of them all. It gives beauty, reveals beauty and is itself most beautiful. It is the analyzer, the truth- 
teller and the exposer of shams, for it shows things as they are. Its infinite streams measure off the 
universe and flow into our telescopes from stars which are quintillions of miles distant. On the other 
hand it descends to objects inconceivably small, and reveals through the microscope objects fifty 
millions of times less than can be seen by the naked eye. Like all other fine forces, its movement is 
wonderfully soft, yet penetrating and powerful. Without its vivifying influence, vegetable, animal, and 
human life must immediately perish from the earth, and general ruin take place. We shall do well, 
then, to consider this potential and beautiful principle of light and its component colors, for the more 
deeply we penetrate into its inner laws, the more will it present itself as a marvelous storehouse of 
power to vitalize, heal, refine, and delight mankind." (See The Principles of Light and Color.) 

Since light is the basic physical manifestation of life, bathing all creation in its radiance, it is highly 
important to realize, in part at least, the subtle nature of this divine substance. That which is called 
light is actually a rate of vibration causing certain reactions upon the optic nerve. Few realize how 
they are walled in by the limitations 


From Fludd's De Musica Mundana. 

In this diagram two interpenetrating pyramids are again employed, one of which represents fire and the other earth. It is 
demonstrated according to the law of elemental harmony that fire does not enter into the composition of earth nor earth 
into the composition of fire. The figures on the chart disclose the harmonic relationships existing between the four 
primary elements according to both Fludd and the Pythagoreans. Earth consists of four parts of its own nature; water of 
three parts of earth and one part of fire. The sphere of equality is a hypothetical point where there is an equilibrium of two 
parts of earth and two parts of fire. Air is composed of three parts of fire and one part of earth; fire, of four parts of its own 
nature. Thus earth and water bear to each other the ratio of 4 to 3, or the diatessaron harmony, and water and the sphere 
of equality the ratio of 3 to 2, or the diapente harmony. Fire and air also bear to each other the ratio of 4 to 3, or the 
diatessaron harmony, and air and the sphere of equality the ratio of 3 to 2, or the diapente harmony. As the sum of a 
diatessaron and a diapente equals a diapason, or octave, it is evident that both the sphere of fire and the sphere of earth 
are in diapason harmony with the sphere of equality, and also that fire and earth are in disdiapason harmony with each 

p. 84 

of the sense perceptions. Not only is there a great deal more to light than anyone has ever seen but 
there are also unknown forms of light which no optical equipment will ever register. There are 
unnumbered colors which cannot be seen, as well as sounds which cannot be heard, odors which 
cannot be smelt, flavors which cannot be tasted, and substances which cannot be felt. Man is thus 

surrounded by a supersensible universe of which he knows nothing because the centers of sense 
perception within himself have not been developed sufficiently to respond to the subtler rates of 
vibration of which that universe is composed. 

Among both civilized and savage peoples color has been accepted as a natural language in which to 
couch their religious and philosophical doctrines. The ancient city of Ecbatana as described by 
Herodotus, its seven walls colored according to the seven planets, revealed the knowledge of this 
subject possessed by the Persian Magi. The famous zikkurat or astronomical tower of the god Nebo at 
Borsippa ascended in seven great steps or stages, each step being painted in the key color of one of 
the planetary bodies. (See Lenormant's Chaldean Magic.) It is thus evident that the Babylonians were 
familiar with the concept of the spectrum in its relation to the seven Creative Gods or Powers. In 
India, one of the Mogul emperors caused a fountain to be made with seven levels. The water pouring 
down the sides through specially arranged channels changed color as it descended, passing 
sequentially through all shades of the spectrum. In Tibet, color is employed by the native artists to 
express various moods. L. Austine Waddell, writing of Northern Buddhist art, notes that in Tibetan 
mythology "White and yellow complexions usually typify mild moods, while the red, blue, and black 
belong to fierce forms, though sometimes light blue, as indicating the sky, means merely celestial. 
Generally the gods are pictured white, goblins red, and devils black, like their European relative." (See 
The Buddhism of Tibet) 

In Meno, Plato, speaking through Socrates, describes color as "an effluence of form, commensurate 
with sight, and sensible." In Thesetetus he discourses more at length on the subject thus: "Let us carry 
out the principle which has just been affirmed, that nothing is self-existent, and then we shall see that 
every color, white, black, and every other color, arises out of the eye meeting the appropriate motion, 
and that what we term the substance of each color is neither the active nor the passive element, but 
something which passes between them, and is peculiar to each percipient; are you certain that the 
several colors appear to every animal—say a dog~as they appear to you?" 

In the Pythagorean fefracfys—the supreme symbol of universal forces and processes—are set forth the 
theories of the Greeks concerning color and music. The first three dots represent the threefold White 
Light, which is the Godhead containing potentially all sound and color. The remaining seven dots are 
the colors of the spectrum and the notes of the musical scale. The colors and tones are the active 
creative powers which, emanating from the First Cause, establish the universe. The seven are divided 
into two groups, one containing three powers and the other four a relationship also shown in the 
tetractys. The higher group— that of three— becomes the spiritual nature of the created universe; the 
lower group— that of four— manifests as the irrational sphere, or inferior world. 

In the Mysteries the seven Logi, or Creative Lords, are shown as streams of force issuing from the 
mouth of the Eternal One. This signifies the spectrum being extracted from the white light of the 
Supreme Deity. The seven Creators, or Fabricators, of the inferior spheres were called by the Jews the 
Elohim. By the Egyptians they were referred to as the Builders (sometimes as the Governors) and are 
depicted with great knives in their hands with which they carved the universe from its primordial 
substance. Worship of the planets is based upon their acceptation as the cosmic embodiments of the 
seven creative attributes of God. The Lords of the planets were described as dwelling within the body 
of the sun, for the true nature of the sun, being analogous to the white light, contains the seeds of all 
the tone and color potencies which it manifests. 

There are numerous arbitrary arrangements setting forth the mutual relationships of the planets, the 
colors, and the musical notes. The most satisfactory system is that based upon the law of the octave. 
The sense of hearing has a much wider scope than that of sight, for whereas the ear can register from 
nine to eleven octaves of sound the eye is restricted to the cognition of but seven fundamental color 
tones, or one tone short of the octave. Red, when posited as the lowest color tone in the scale of 
chromatics, thus corresponds to do, the first note of the musical scale. Continuing the analogy, orange 

corresponds to re, yellow to mi, green to fa, blue to sol, indigo to la, and violet to si {ti). The eighth 
color tone necessary to complete the scale should be the higher octave of red, the first color tone. The 
accuracy of the above arrangement is attested by two striking facts: (i) the three fundamental notes of 
the musical scale—the first, the third, and the fifth—correspond with the three primary colors— red, 
yellow, and blue; (2) the seventh, and least perfect, note of the musical scale corresponds with purple, 
the least perfect tone of the color scale. 

In The Principles of Light and Color, Edwin D. Babbitt confirms the correspondence of the color and 
musical scales: "As C is at the bottom of the musical scale and made with the coarsest waves of air, so 
is red at the bottom of the chromatic scale and made with the coarsest waves of luminous ether. As 
the musical note B [the seventh note of the scale] requires 45 vibrations of air every time the note C at 
the lower end of the scale requires 24, or but little over half as many, so does extreme violet require 
about 300 trillions of vibrations of ether in a second, while extreme red requires only about 450 
trillions, which also are but little more than half as many. When one musical octave is finished 
another one commences and progresses with just twice as many vibrations as were used in the first 
octave, and so the same notes are repeated on a finer scale. In the same way when the scale of colors 
visible to the ordinary eye is completed in the violet, another octave of finer invisible colors, with just 
twice as many vibrations, will commence and progress on precisely the same law." 

When the colors are related to the twelve signs of the zodiac, they are arranged as the spokes of a 
wheel. To Aries is assigned pure red; to Taurus, red-orange; to Gemini, pure orange; to Cancer, 
orange-yellow; to Leo, pure yellow; to Virgo, yellow-green; to Libra, pure green; to Scorpio, green- 
blue; to Sagittarius, pure blue; to Capricorn, blue-violet; to Aquarius, pure violet; and to Pisces, 

In expounding the Eastern system of esoteric philosophy, H. P, Blavatsky relates the colors to the 
septenary constitution of man and the seven states of matter as follows: 

This arrangement of the colors of the spectrum and the musical notes of the octave necessitates a 
different grouping of the planets in order to preserve their proper tone and color analogies. Thus do 
becomes Mars; re, the sun; mi. Mercury; /a, Saturn; sol, Jupiter; la, Venus; si (ti) the moon. (See The 
E. S. Instructions.) 





Chaya, or Etheric Double Ether 
Higher Manas, or Spiritual Intelligence Critical State called Air 

Auric Envelope Steam or Vapor 

Lower Manas, or Animal Soul Critical State 

Buddhi, or Spiritual Soul Water 

Prana, or Life Principle Critical State 

Kama Rupa, or Seat of Animal Life Ice 






From Fludd's De Musica Mundana. 

In this diagram Fludd has divided each of the four Primary elements into three subdivisions. The first division of each 
element is the grossest, partaking somewhat of the substance directly inferior to itself (except in the case of the earth, 
which has no state inferior to itself). The second division consists of the element in its relatively pure state, while the third 
division is that condition wherein the element partakes somewhat of the substance immediately superior to itself. For 
example the lowest division of the element of water is sedimentary, as it contains earth substance in solution; the second 
division represents water in its most common state~salty~as in the case of the ocean; and the third division is water in its 
purest state—free from salt. The harmonic interval assigned to the lowest division of each element is one tone, to the 
central division also a tone, but to the higher division a half-tone because it partakes of the division immediately above it. 
Fludd emphasizes the fact that as the elements ascend in series of two and a half tones, the diatessaron is the dominating 
harmonic interval of the elements. 

p. 85 

Fishes, Insects, Animals, Reptiles and 


Part One 

THE creatures inhabiting the water, air, and earth were held in veneration by all races of antiquity. 
Realizing that visible bodies are only symbols of invisible forces, the ancients worshiped the Divine 
Power through the lower kingdoms of Nature, because those less evolved and more simply 
constituted creatures responded most readily to the creative impulses of the gods. The sages of old 
studied living things to a point of realization that God is most perfectly understood through a 
knowledge of His supreme handiwork—animate and inanimate Nature. 

Every existing creature manifests some aspect of the intelligence or power of the Eternal One, who 
can never be known save through a study and appreciation of His numbered but inconceivable parts. 
When a creature is chosen, therefore, to symbolize to the concrete human mind some concealed 
abstract principle it is because its characteristics demonstrate this invisible principle in visible action. 
Fishes, insects, animals, reptiles, and birds appear in the religious symbolism of nearly all nations, 
because the forms and habits of these creatures and the media in which they exist closely relate them 
to the various generative and germinative powers of Nature, which were considered as prima-facie 
evidence of divine omnipresence. 

The early philosophers and scientists, realizing that all life has its origin in water, chose the fish as the 
symbol of the life germ. The fact that fishes are most prolific makes the simile still more apt. While 
the early priests may not have possessed the instruments necessary to analyze the spermatozoon, they 
concluded by deduction that it resembled a fish. 

Fishes were sacred to the Greeks and Romans, being connected with the worship of Aphrodite 
(Venus). An interesting survival of pagan ritualism is found in the custom of eating fish on Friday. 
Freya, in whose honor the day was named, was the Scandinavian Venus, and this day was sacred 
among many nations to the goddess of beauty and fecundity. This analogy further links the fish with 
the procreative mystery. Friday is also sacred to the followers of the Prophet Mohammed. 

The word nun means both fish and growth, and as Inman says: "The Jews were led to victory by the 
Son of the Fish whose other names were Joshua and Jesus (the Savior). Nun is still the name of a 
female devotee" of the Christian faith. Among early Christians three fishes were used to symbolize the 
Trinity, and the fish is also one of the eight sacred symbols of the great Buddha. It is also significant 
that the dolphin should be sacred to both Apollo (the Solar Savior) and Neptune. It was believed that 
this fish carried shipwrecked sailors to heaven on its back. The dolphin was accepted by the early 
Christians as an emblem of Christ, because the pagans had viewed this beautiful creature as a friend 
and benefactor of man. The heir to the throne of France, the Dauphin, may have secured his title from 
this ancient pagan symbol of the divine preservative power. The first advocates of Christianity likened 
converts to fishes, who at the time of baptism "returned again into the sea of Christ." 

Primitive peoples believed the sea and land were inhabited by strange creatures, and early books on 
zoology contain curious illustrations of composite beasts, reptiles, and fishes, which did not exist at 
the time the mediaeval authors compiled these voluminous books. In the ancient initiatory rituals of 
the Persian, Greek, and Egyptian Mysteries the priests disguised themselves as composite creatures, 
thereby symbolizing different aspects of human consciousness. They used birds and reptiles as 
emblems of their various deities, often creating forms of grotesque appearance and assigning to them 

imaginary traits, habits, and places of domicile, all of which were symbolic of certain spiritual and 
transcendental truths thus concealed from the profane. The phoenix made its nest of incense and 
flames. The unicorn had the body of a horse, the feet of an elephant, and the tail of a wild boar. The 
upper half of the centaur's body was human and the lower half equine. The pelican of the Hermetists 
fed its young from its own breast, and to this bird were assigned other mysterious attributes which 
could have been true only allegorically. 

Though regarded by many writers of the Middle Ages as actual living creatures, none of these—the 
pelican excepted—ever existed outside the symbolism of the Mysteries. Possibly they originated in 
rumors of animals then little known. In the temple, however, they became a reality, for there they 
signified the manifold characteristics of man's nature. The mantichora had certain points in common 
with the hyena; the unicorn may have been the single-horned rhinoceros. To the student of the secret 
wisdom these composite animals, and birds simply represent various forces working in the invisible 
worlds. This is a point which nearly all writers on the subject of medieval monsters seem to have 
overlooked. (See Vlyssis Aldrovandi's Monstrorum Historia, 1642, and Physica Curiosa, by P. 
Gaspare Schotto, 1697.) 

There are also legends to the effect that long before the appearance of human beings there existed a 
race or species of composite creatures which was destroyed by the gods. The temples of antiquity 
preserved their own historical records and possessed information concerning the prehistoric world 
that has never been revealed to the uninitiated. According to these records, the human race evolved 
from a species of creature that partook somewhat of the nature of an amphibian, for at that time 
primitive man had the gills of a fish and was partly covered with scales. To a limited degree, the 
human embryo demonstrates the possibility of such a condition. As a result of the theory of man's 
origin in water, the fish was looked upon as the progenitor of the human family. This gave rise to the 
ichthyolatry of the Chaldeans, Phoenicians, and Brahmins. The American Indians believe that the 
waters of lakes, rivers, and oceans are inhabited by a mysterious people, the "Water Indians." 

The fish has been used as an emblem of damnation; but among the Chinese it typified contentment 
and good fortune, and fishes appear on many of their coins. When Typhon, or Set, the Egyptian evil 
genius, had divided the body of the god Osiris into fourteen parts, he cast one part into the river Nile, 
where, according to Plutarch, it was devoured by three fishes— the lepidotus (probably the 
lepidosiren), the phagrus, and the oxyrynchus (a form of pike). For this reason the Egyptians would 
not eat the flesh of these fishes, believing that to do so would be to devour the body of their god. 
When used as a symbol of evil, the fish represented the earth (man's lower nature) and the tomb (the 
sepulcher of the Mysteries). Thus was Jonah three days in the belly of the "great fish," as Christ was 
three days in the tomb. 

Several early church fathers believed that the "whale" which swallowed Jonah was the symbol of God 
the Father, who, when the hapless prophet was thrown overboard, accepted Jonah into His own 
nature until a place of safety was reached. The story of Jonah is really a legend of initiation into the 
Mysteries, and the "great fish" represents the darkness of ignorance which engulfs man when he is 
thrown over the side of the ship (is born) into the sea (life). The custom of building ships in the form 
of fishes or birds, common in ancient times, could give rise to the story, and mayhap Jonah was 
merely picked up by 


From Picart's Religious Ceremonials. 

The fish has often been associated with the World Saviors. Vishnu, the Hindu Redeemer, who takes upon himself ten 
forms for the redemption of the universe, was expelled from the mouth of a fish in his first incarnation. Isis, while nursing 
the infant Horus, is often shown with a fish on her headdress. Oannes, the Chaldean Savior (borrowed from the 
Brahmins), is depicted with the head and body of a fish, from which his human form protrudes at various points. Jesus 
was often symbolized by a fish. He told His disciples that they should became "fishers of men." The sign of the fish was 
also the first monogram of the Christians. The mysterious Greek name of Jesus, IX0Y2, means "a fish." The fish was 
accepted as a symbol of the Christ by a number of early canonized church fathers. St. Augustine likened the Christ to a fish 
that had been broiled, and it was also pointed out that the flesh of that Fish was the food of righteous and holy men. 

p. 86 

another vessel and carried into port, the pattern of the ship causing it to be called a "great fish." 
CVeritatis simplex oratio est!") More probably the "whale" of Jonah is based upon the pagan 
mythological creature, hippocampus, part horse and part dolphin, for the early Christian statues and 
carvings show the composite creature and not a true whale. 

It is reasonable to suppose that the mysterious sea serpents, which, according to the Mayan and 
Toltec legends, brought the gods to Mexico were Viking or Chaldean ships, built in the shape of 
composite sea monsters or dragons. H. P. Blavatsky advances the theory that the word cetus, the great 
whale, is derived from keto, a name for the fish god, Dagon, and that Jonah was actually confined in a 
cell hollowed out in the body of a gigantic statue of Dagon after he had been captured by Phoenician 
sailors and carried to one of their cities. There is no doubt a great mystery in the gigantic form of 
cetus, which is still preserved as a constellation. 

According to many scattered fragments extant, man's lower nature was symbolized by a tremendous, 
awkward creature resembling a great sea serpent, or dragon, called leviathan. All symbols having 
serpentine form or motion signify the solar energy in one of its many forms. This great creature of the 
sea therefore represents the solar life force imprisoned in water and also the divine energy coursing 
through the body of man, where, until transmuted, it manifests itself as a writhing, twisting monster— 
-man's greeds, passions, and lusts. Among the symbols of Christ as the Savior of men are a number 
relating to the mystery of His divine nature concealed within the personality of the lowly Jesus. 

The Gnostics divided the nature of the Christian Redeemer into two parts—the one Jesus, a mortal 
man; the other, Christos, a personification of Nous, the principle of Cosmic Mind. Nous, the greater, 
was for the period of three years (from baptism to crucifixion) using the fleshly garment of the mortal 
man (Jesus). In order to illustrate this point and still conceal it from the ignorant, many strange, and 
often repulsive, creatures were used whose rough exteriors concealed magnificent organisms. Kenealy, 
in his notes on the Book of Enoch, observes: "Why the caterpillar was a symbol of the Messiah is 
evident; because, under a lowly, creeping, and wholly terrestrial aspect, he conceals the beautiful 
butterfly-form, with its radiant wings, emulating in its varied colors the Rainbow, the Serpent, the 
Salmon, the Scarab, the Peacock, and the dying Dolphin * * *. 


In 1609 Henry Khunrath'sAmp/iif/ieaf rum Sapientise ^ternae was published. Eliphas Levi declared 
that within its pages are concealed all the great secrets of magical philosophy. A remarkable plate in 
this work shows the Hermetic sciences being attacked by the bigoted and ignorant pedagogues of the 
seventeenth century. In order to express his complete contempt for his slanderers, Khunrath made 
out of each a composite beast, adding donkey ears to one and a false tail to another. He reserved the 
upper part of the picture for certain petty backbiters whom he gave appropriate forms. The air was 
filled with strange creatures—great dragon flies, winged frogs, birds with human heads, and other 
weird forms which defy description— heaping venom, gossip, spite, slander, and other forms of 
persecution upon the secret arcanum of the wise. The drawing indicated that their attacks were 
ineffectual. Poisonous insects were often used to symbolize the deadly power of the human tongue. 

Insects of all kinds were also considered emblematic of the Nature spirits and dsemons, for both were 
believed to inhabit the atmosphere. Mediaeval drawings showing magicians in the act of invoking 
spirits, often portray the mysterious powers of the other world, which the conjurer has exorcised, as 
appearing to him in composite part-insect forms. The early philosophers apparently held the opinion 
that the disease which swept through communities in the form of plagues were actually living 
creatures, but instead of considering a number of tiny germs they viewed the entire plague as one 
individuality and gave it a hideous shape to symbolize its destructiveness. The fact that plagues came 
in the air caused an insect or a bird to be used as their symbol. 

Beautiful symmetrical forms were assigned to all natural benevolent conditions or powers, but to 
unnatural or malevolent powers were assigned contorted and abnormal figures. The Evil One was 
either hideously deformed or else of the nature of certain despised animals. A popular superstition 
during the Middle Ages held that the Devil had the feet of a rooster, while the Egyptians assigned to 
Typhon (Devil) the body of a hog. 

The habits of the insects were carefully studied. Therefore the ant was looked upon as emblematic of 
industry and foresight, as it stored up supplies for the winter and also had strength to move objects 
many times its own weight. The locusts which swept down in clouds, and in some parts of Africa and 
Asia obscured the sun and destroyed every green thing, were considered fit emblems of passion, 
disease, hate, and strife; for these emotions destroy all that is good in the soul of man and leave a 
barren desert behind them. In the folklore of various nations, certain insects are given special 
significance, but the ones which have received world-wide veneration and consideration ate the 

scarab, the king of the insect kingdom; the scorpion, the great betrayer; the butterfly, the emblem of 
metamorphosis; and the bee, the symbol of industry. 

The Egyptian scarab is one of the most remarkable symbolic figures ever conceived by the mind of 
man. It was evolved by the erudition of the priestcraft from a simple insect which, because of its 
peculiar habits and appearance, properly symbolized the strength of the body, the resurrection of the 
soul, and the Eternal and Incomprehensible Creator in His aspect as Lord of the Sun. E. A. Wallis 
Budge says, in effect, of the worship of the scarab by the Egyptians: 

"Yet another view held in primitive times was that the sky was a vast meadow over which a huge 
beetle crawled, pushing the disk of the sun before him. This beetle was the Sky-god, and, arguing 
from the example of the beetle (Scarabaeus sacer), which was observed to roll along with its hind legs 
a ball that was believed to contain its eggs, the early Egyptians thought that the ball of the Sky-god 
contained his egg and that the sun was his offspring. Thanks, however, to the investigations of the 
eminent entomologist, Monsieur J. H. Fabre, we now know that the ball which the Scarahseus sacer 
rolls along contains not its eggs, but dung that is to serve as food for its egg, which it lays in a carefully 
prepared place." 

Initiates of the Egyptian Mysteries were sometimes called scarabs; again, lions and panthers. The 
scarab was the emissary of the sun, symbolizing light, truth, and regeneration. Stone scarabs, called 
heart scarabs, about three inches long, were placed in the heart cavity of the dead when that organ 
was removed to be embalmed separately as part of the process of mummifying. Some maintain that 
the stone beetles were merely wrapped in the winding cloths at the time of preparing the body for 
eternal preservation. The following passage concerning this appears in the great Egyptian book of 
initiation. The Book of the Dead: "And behold, thou shalt make a scarab of green stone, which shalt be 
placed in the breast of a man, and it shall perform for him, 'the opening of the mouth.'" The funeral 
rites of many nations bear a striking resemblance to the initiatory ceremonies of their Mysteries. 

Ra, the god of the sun, had three important aspects. As the Creator of the universe he was symbolized 
by the head of a scarab and was called Khepera, which signified the resurrection of the soul and a new 
life at the end of the mortal span. The mummy cases of the Egyptian dead were nearly always 
ornamented with scarabs. Usually one of these beetles, with outspread wings, was painted on the 
mummy case directly over the breast of the dead. The finding of such great numbers of small stone 
scarabs indicates that they were a favorite article of adornment among the Egyptians. Because of its 
relationship to the sun, the scarab symbolized the divine part of man's nature. The fact that its 
beautiful wings were concealed under its glossy shell typified the winged soul of man hidden within 
its earthly sheath. The Egyptian soldiers were given the scarab as their special symbol because the 
ancients believed that these creatures were all of the male sex and consequently appropriate emblems 
of virility, strength, and courage. 

Plutarch noted the fact that the scarab rolled its peculiar ball of dung backwards, while the insect 
itself faced the opposite direction. This made it an especially fitting symbol for the sun, because this 
orb (according to Egyptian astronomy) was rolling from west to east, although apparently moving in 
the opposite direction. An Egyptian allegory states that the sunrise is caused by the scarab unfolding 


From Redgrave's Bygone Beliefs. 

The most remarkable of allegorical creatures was the mantichora, which Ctesias describes as having aflame-colored body, 
lionlike in shape, three rows of teeth, a human head and ears, blue eyes, a tail ending in a series of spikes and stings, 
thorny and scorpionlike, and a voice which sounded like the blare of trumpets. This sjmthetic quadruped ambled into 
mediaeval works on natural history, but, though seriously considered, had never been seen, because it inhabited 
inaccessible regions and consequently was difficult to locate. 

The flat under side of a scarab usually bears an inscription relating to the dynasty during which it was cut. These scarabs 
were sometimes used as seals. Some were cut from ordinary or precious stones; others were made of clay, baked and 
glazed. Occasionally the stone scarabs were also glazed. The majority of the small scarabs are pierced as though originally 
used as beads. Some are so hard that they will cut glass. In the picture above, A shows top and side views of the scarab, 
and B and B the under surface with the name of Men-ka-Ra within the central cartouche. 

its wings, which stretch out as glorious colors on each side of its body—the solar globe—and that when 
it folds its wings under its dark shell at sunset, night follows. Khepera, the scarab-headed aspect of 
Ra, is often symbolized riding through the sea of the sky in a wonderful ship called the Boat of the 

The scorpion is the sjmibol of both wisdom and self-destruction. It was called by the Egyptians the 
creature accursed; the time of year when the sun entered the sign of Scorpio marked the beginning of 
the rulership of Typhon. When the twelve signs of the zodiac were used to represent the twelve 
Apostles (although the reverse is true), the scorpion was assigned to Judas Iscariot— the betrayer. 

The scorpion stings with its tail, and for this reason it has been called a backbiter, a false and deceitful 
thing. Calmet, in his Dictionary of the Bible, declares the scorpion to be a fit emblem of the wicked 
and the symbol of persecution. The dry winds of Egypt are said to be produced by Typhon, who 
imparts to the sand the blistering heat of the infernal world and the sting of the scorpion. This insect 


From Hall's Catalogue of Egyptian Scarabs, Etc., in the British Museum. 

p. 87 

was also the symbol of the spinal fire which, according to the Egyptian Mysteries, destroyed man 
when it was permitted to gather at the base of his spine (the tail of the scorpion). The red star Antares 
in the back of the celestial scorpion was considered the worst light in the heavens. Kalb alAkrab, or 
the heart of the scorpion, was called by the ancients the lieutenant or deputy of Mars. (See footnote to 
Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos.) Antares was believed to impair the eyesight, often causing blindness if it rose 
over the horizon when a child was born. This may refer again to the sand storm, which was capable of 
blinding unwary travelers. 

The scorpion was also the symbol of wisdom, for the fire which it controlled was capable of 
illuminating as well as consuming. Initiation into the Greater Mysteries among the pagans was said to 
take place only in the sign of the scorpion. In the papyrus of Ani (The Book of the Dead), the deceased 
likens his soul to a scorpion, saying: "I am a swallow, I am that scorpion, the daughter of Ra!" 
Elizabeth Goldsmith, in her treatise on Sex Symbolism, states that the scorpions were a "symbol of 
Selk, the Egyptian goddess of writing, and also [were] revered by the Babylonians and Assyrians as 
guardians of the gateway of the sun. Seven scorpions were said to have accompanied Isis when she 
searched for the remains of Osiris scattered by Set" (Typhon). 

In his Chaldean Account of the Genesis, George Smith, copying from the cuneiform cylinders, in 
describing the wanderings of the hero Izdubar (Nimrod), throws some light on the scorpion god who 
guards the sun. The tablet which he translated is not perfect, but the meaning is fairly clear: "* * * 
who each day guard the rising sun. Their crown was at the lattice of heaven, under hell their feet were 
placed [the spinal column]. The scorpion man guarded the gate, burning with terribleness, their 
appearance was like death, the might of his fear shook the forest. At the rising of the sun and the 
setting of the sun, they guarded the sun; Izdubar saw them and fear and terror came into his face." 
Among the early Latins there was a machine of war called the scorpion. It was used for firing arrows 
and probably obtained its name from a long beam, resembling a scorpion's tail, which flew up to hurl 
the arrows. The missiles discharged by this machine were also called scorpions. 

The butterfly (under the name of Psyche, a beautiful maiden with wings of opalescent light) 
symbolizes the human soul because of the stages it passes through in order to unfold its power of 
flight. The three divisions through which the butterfly passes in its unfoldment resemble closely the 
three degrees of the Mystery School, which degrees are regarded as consummating the unfoldment of 
man by giving him emblematic wings by which he may soar to the skies. Unregenerate man, ignorant 
and helpless, is symbolized by the stage between ovum and larva; the disciple, seeking truth and 
dwelling in medication, by the second stage, from larva to pupa, at which time the insect enters its 
chrysalis (the tomb of the Mysteries); the third stage, from pupa to imago (wherein the perfect 
butterfly comes forth), typifies the unfolded enlightened soul of the initiate rising from the tomb of 
his baser nature. 

Night moths typify the secret wisdom, because they are hard to discover and are concealed by the 
darkness (ignorance). Some are emblems of death, asAcherontia atropos, the death's-head moth, 
which has a marking on its body somewhat like a human skull. The death-watch beetle, which was 
believed to give warning of approaching death by a peculiar ticking sound, is another instance of 
insects involved in human affairs. 

Opinions differ concerning the spider. Its shape makes it an appropriate emblem of the nerve plexus 
and ganglia of the human body. Some Europeans consider it extremely bad luck to kill a spider- 
possibly because it is looked upon as an emissary of the Evil One, whom no person desires to offend. 
There is a mystery concerning all poisonous creatures, especially insects. Paracelsus taught that the 
spider was the medium for a powerful but evil force which the Black Magicians used in their nefarious 

Certain plants, minerals, and animals have been sacred among all the nations of the earth because of 
their peculiar sensitiveness to the astral fire~a mysterious agency in Nature which the scientific world 
has contacted through its manifestations as electricity and magnetism. Lodestone and radium in the 
mineral world and various parasitic growths in the plant kingdom are strangely susceptible to this 
cosmic electric fire, or universal life force. The magicians of the Middle Ages surrounded themselves 
with such creatures as bats, spiders, cats, snakes, and monkeys, because they were able to appropriate 
the life forces of these species and use them to the attainment of their own ends. Some ancient 
schools of wisdom taught that all poisonous insects and reptiles are germinated out of the evil nature 
of man, and that when intelligent human beings no longer breed hate in their own souls there will be 
no more ferocious animals, loathsome diseases, or poisonous plants and insects. 

Among the American Indians is the legend of a "Spider Man," whose web connected the heaven 
worlds with the earth. The secret schools of India symbolize certain of the gods who labored with the 
universe during its making as connecting the realms of light with those of darkness by means of webs. 
Therefore the builders of the cosmic system who held the embryonic universe together with threads of 
invisible force were sometimes referred to as the Spider Gods and their ruler was designated The 
Great Spider. 

The beehive is found in Masonry as a reminder that in diligence and labor for a common good true 
happiness and prosperity are found. The bee is a symbol of wisdom, for as this tiny insect collects 
pollen from the flowers, so men may extract wisdom from the experiences of daily life. The bee is 
sacred to the goddess Venus and, according to mystics, it is one of several forms of life which came to 
the earth from the planet Venus millions of years ago. Wheat and bananas are said to be of similar 
origin. This is the reason why the origin of these three forms of life cannot be traced. The fact that 
bees are ruled by queens is one reason why this insect is considered a sacred feminine symbol. 

In India the god Prana~the personification of the universal life force—is sometimes shown 
surrounded by a circle of bees. Because of its importance in poUenizing flowers, the bee is the 
accepted symbol of the generative power. At one time the bee was the emblem of the French kings. 
The rulers of France wore robes embroidered with bees, and the canopies of their thrones were 
decorated with gigantic figures of these insects. 

The fly symbolizes the tormentor, because of the annoyance it causes to animals. The Chaldean god 
Baal was often called Baal-Zebul, or the god of the dwelling place. The word zebub, or zabab, means a 
fly, and Baal-Zebul became Baalzebub, or Beelzebub, a word which was loosely translated to mean 
Jupiter's fly. The fly was looked upon as a form of the divine power, because of its ability to destroy 
decaying substances and thus promote health. The fly may have obtained its name Zebub from its 
peculiar buzzing or humming. Inman believes that Baalzebub, which the Jews ridiculed as My Lord of 
Flies, really means My Lord Who Hums or Murmurs. 

Inman recalls the singing Memnon on the Egyptian desert, a tremendous figure with an ^Eolian harp 
on the top of its head. When the wind blows strongly this great Statue sighs, or hums. The Jews 
changed Baalzebub into Beelzebub, and made him their prince of devils by interpreting dsemon as 
"demon." Naudseus, in defending Virgil from accusations of sorcery, attempted a wholesale denial of 
the miracles supposedly performed by Virgil and produced enough evidence to convict the poet on all 
counts. Among other strange fears, Virgil fashioned a fly out of brass, and after certain mysterious 
ceremonies, placed it over one of the gates of Naples. As a result, no flies entered the city for more 
than eight years. 


The serpent was chosen as the head of the reptilian family. Serpent worship in some form has 
permeated nearly all parts of the 


The bee was used as, a symbol of royalty by the immortal Charlemagne, and it is probable that the fleur-de-lis, or lily of 
France, is merely a conventionalized bee and not a flower. There is an ancient Greek legend to the effect that the nine 
Muses occasionally assumed the form of bees. 


From Paracelsus' Archidoxes Magica. 

The scorpion often appears upon the talismans and charms of the Middle Ages. This hieroglyphic Arac/inida was 
supposed to have the power of curing disease. The scorpion shown above was composed of several metals, and was made 
under certain planetary configurations. Paracelsus advised that it be worn by those suffering from any derangement of the 
reproductive system. 

p. 88 

earth. The serpent mounds of the American Indian; the carved-stone snakes of Central and South 
America; the hooded cobras of India; Python, the great snake o the Greeks; the sacred serpents of the 
Druids; the Midgard snake of Scandinavia; the Nagas of Burma, Siam, and Cambodia; the brazen 
serpent of the Jews; the mystic serpent of Orpheus; the snakes at the oracle; of Delphi twining 
themselves around the tripod upon which the Pythian priestess sat, the tripod itself being in the form 
of twisted serpents; the sacred serpents preserved in the Egyptian temples; the Urseus coiled upon the 
foreheads of the Pharaohs and priests; —all these bear witness to the universal veneration in which the 
snake was held. In the ancient Mysteries the serpent entwining a staff was the symbol of the physician. 

The serpent-wound staff of Hermes remains the emblem of the medical profession. Among nearly all 

these ancient peoples the serpent was accepted as the symbol of wisdom or salvation. The antipathy 
which Christendom feels towards the snake is based upon the little-understood allegory of the Garden 
of Eden. 

The serpent is true to the principle of wisdom, for it tempts man to the knowledge of himself. 
Therefore the knowledge of self resulted from man's disobedience to the Demiurgus, Jehovah. How 
the serpent came to be in the garden of the Lord after God had declared that all creatures which He 
had made during the six days of creation were good has not been satisfactorily answered by the 
interpreters of Scripture. The tree that grows in the midst of the garden is the spinal fire; the 
knowledge of the use of that spinal fire is the gift of the great serpent. Notwithstanding statements to 
the contrary, the serpent is the symbol and prototype of the Universal Savior, who redeems the 
worlds by giving creation the knowledge of itself and the realization of good and evil. If this be not so, 
why did Moses raise a brazen serpent upon a cross in the wilderness that all who looked upon it might 
be saved from the sting of the lesser snakes? Was not the brazen serpent a prophecy of the crucified 
Man to come? If the serpent be only a thing of evil, why did Christ instruct His disciples to be as wise 
as serpents? 

The accepted theory that the serpent is evil cannot be substantiated. It has long been viewed as the 
emblem of immortality. It is the symbol of reincarnation, or metempsychosis, because it annually 
sheds its skin, reappearing, as it were, in a new body. There is an ancient superstition to the effect 
that snakes never die except by violence and that, if uninjured, they would live forever. It was also 
believed that snakes swallowed themselves, and this resulted in their being considered emblematic of 
the Supreme Creator, who periodically reabsorbed His universe back into Himself. 

In Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky makes this significant statement concerning the origin of serpent 
worship: "Before our globe had become egg-shaped or round it was a long trail of cosmic dust or fire- 
mist, moving and writhing like a serpent. This, say the explanations, was the Spirit of God moving on 
the chaos until its breath had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a 
serpent with its tail in its month—emblem of eternity in its spiritual and of our world in its physical 

The seven-headed snake represents the Supreme Deity manifesting through His Elohim, or Seven 
Spirits, by whose aid He established His universe. The coils of the snake have been used by the 
pagans to symbolize the motion and also the orbits of the celestial bodies, and it is probable that the 
symbol of the serpent twisted around the egg— which was common to many of the ancient Mystery 
schools—represented both the apparent motion of the sun around the earth, and the bands of astral 
light, or the great magical agent, which move about the planet incessantly. 

Electricity was commonly symbolized by the serpent because of its motion. Electricity passing 
between the poles of a spark gap is serpentine in its motion. Force projected through atmosphere was 
called The Great Snake. Being symbolic of universal force, the serpent was emblematic of both good 
and evil. Force can tear down as rapidly as it can build up. The serpent with its tail in its mouth is the 
symbol of eternity, for in this position the body of the reptile has neither beginning nor end. The head 
and tail represent the positive and negative poles of the cosmic life circuit. The initiates of the 
Mysteries were often referred to as serpents, and their wisdom was considered analogous to the 
divinely inspired power of the snake. There is no doubt that the title "Winged Serpents" (the 
Seraphim?) was given to one of the invisible hierarchies that labored with the earth during its early 

There is a legend that in the beginning of the world winged serpents reigned upon the earth. These 

were probably the demigods which antedate the historical civilization of every nation. The symbolic 
relationship between the sun and the serpent found literal witness in the fact that life remains in the 

snake until sunset, even though it be cut into a dozen parts. The Hopi Indians consider the serpent to 

be in close communication with the Earth Spirit. Therefore, at the time of their annual snake dance 
they send their prayers to the Earth Spirit by first specially sanctifying large numbers of these reptiles 
and then liberating them to return to the earth with the prayers of the tribe. 

The great rapidity of motion manifested by lizards has caused them to be associated with Mercury, 
the Messenger of the Gods, whose winged feet traveled infinite distances almost instantaneously. A 
point which must not be overlooked in connection with reptiles in symbolism is clearly brought out by 
the eminent scholar. Dr. H. E. Santee, in his Anatomy of the Brain and Spinal Cord: "In reptiles 
there are two pineal bodies, an anterior and a posterior, of which the posterior remains undeveloped 
but the anterior forms a rudimentary, cyclopean eye. In the Hatteria, a New Zealand lizard, it projects 
through the parietal foramen and presents an imperfect lens and retina and, in its long stalk, nerve 

Crocodiles were regarded by the Egyptians both as symbols of Typhon and emblems of the Supreme 
Deity, of the latter because while under water the crocodile is capable of seeing—Plutarch asserts— 
though its eyes are covered by a thin membrane. The Egyptians declared that no matter how far away 
the crocodile laid its eggs, the Nile would reach up to them in its next inundation, this reptile being 
endowed with a mysterious sense capable of making known the extent of the flood months before it 
took place. There were two kinds of crocodiles. The larger and more ferocious was hated by the 
Egyptians, for they likened it to the nature of Typhon, their destroying demon. Typhon waited to 
devour all who failed to pass the judgment of the Dead, which rite took place in the Hall of Justice 
between the earth and the Elysian Fields. Anthony Todd Thomson thus describes the good treatment 
accorded the smaller and tamer crocodiles, which the Egyptians accepted as personifications of good: 
"They were fed daily and occasionally had mulled wine poured down their throats. Their ears were 
ornamented with rings of gold and precious stones, and their forefeet adorned with bracelets." 

To the Chinese the turtle was a symbol of longevity. At a temple in Singapore a number of sacred 
turtles are kept, their age recorded by carvings on their shells. The American Indians use the ridge 
down the back of the turtle shell as a symbol of the Great Divide between life and death. The turtle is a 
symbol of wisdom because it retires into itself and is its own protection. It is also a phallic symbol, as 
its relation to long life would signify. The Hindus symbolized the universe as being supported on the 
backs of four great elephants who, in turn, are standing upon an immense turtle which is crawling 
continually through chaos. 

The Egyptian sphinx, the Greek centaur, and the Assyrian man -bull have much in common. All are 
composite creatures combining human and animal members; in the Mysteries all signify the 
composite nature of man and subtly refer to the hierarchies of celestial beings that have charge of the 
destiny of mankind. These hierarchies are the twelve holy animals now known as constellations—star 
groups which are merely symbols of impersonal spiritual impulses. Chiron, the centaur, teaching the 
sons of men, symbolizes the intelligences of the constellation of Sagittarius, who were the custodians 
of the secret doctrine while (geocentrically) the sun was passing through the sign of Gemini. The five- 
footed Assyrian man-bull with the wings of an eagle and the head of a man is a reminder that the 
invisible nature of man has the wings of a god, the head of a man, and the body of a beast. The same 
concept was expressed through the sphinx— that armed guardian of the Mysteries who, crouching at 
the gate of the temple, denied entrance to the profane. Thus placed between man and his divine 
possibilities, the sphinx also represented the secret doctrine itself. Children's fairy stories abound 
with descriptions of symbolic monsters, for nearly all such tales are based upon the ancient mystic 


From Kircher's CEdipus^Egyptiacus. 

The spinal cord was symbolized by a snake, and the serpent coiled upon the foreheads of the Egyptian initiates 
represented the Divine Fire which had crawled serpentlike up the Tree of Life. 


From Maurice's Indian Antiquities. 

Both Mithras, the Persian Redeemer, and Serapis, the Egyptian God of the Earth, are symbolized by serpents coiled about 
their bodies. This remarkable drawing shows the good and evil principles of Persia— Ahura-Mazda and Ahriman— 
contending for the Egg of the Earth, which each trying to wrench from the teeth of the other. 

p. 89 

Fishes, Insects, Animals, Reptiles and 


(Part Two) 

AS appropriate emblems of various human and divine attributes birds were included in religious and 
philosophic symbolism that of pagans and of Christians alike. Cruelty was signified by the buzzard; 
courage by the eagle; self-sacrifice by the pelican; and pride by the peacock. The ability of birds to 
leave the earth and fly aloft toward the source of light has resulted in their being associated with 
aspiration, purity, and beauty. Wings were therefore often added to various terrene creatures in an 
effort to suggest transcendency. Because their habitat was among the branches of the sacred trees in 
the hearts of ancient forests, birds were also regarded as the appointed messengers of the tree spirits 
and Nature gods dwelling in these consecrated groves, and through their clear notes the gods 
themselves were said to speak. Many myths have been fabricated to explain the brilliant plumage of 
birds. A familiar example is the story of Juno's peacock, in whose tail feathers were placed the eyes of 
Argus. Numerous American Indian legends also deal with birds and the origin of the various colors of 
feathers. The Navahos declare that when all living things climbed to the stalk of a bamboo to escape 
the Flood, the wild turkey was on the lowest branch and his tail feathers trailed in the water; hence 
the color was all washed out. 

Gravitation, which is a law in the material world, is the impulse toward the center of materiality; 
levitation, which is a law in the spiritual world, is the impulse toward the center of spirituality. 
Seeming to be capable of neutralizing the effect of gravity, the bird was said to partake of a nature 
superior to other terrestrial creation; and its feathers, because of their sustaining power, came to be 
accepted as symbols of divinity, courage, and accomplishment. A notable example is the dignity 
attached to eagle feathers by the American Indians, among whom they are insignia of merit. Angels 
have been invested with wings because, like birds, they were considered to be the intermediaries 
between the gods and men and to inhabit the air or middle kingdom betwixt heaven and earth. As the 
dome of the heavens was likened to a skull in the Gothic Mysteries, so the birds which flew across the 
sky were regarded as thoughts of the Deity. For this reason Odin's two messenger ravens were called 
Hugin and Munin— thought and memory. 

Among the Greeks and Romans, the eagle was the appointed bird of Jupiter and consequently 
signified the swiftly moving forces of the Demiurgus; hence it was looked upon as the mundane lord 
of the birds, in contradistinction to the phoenix, which was symbolic of the celestial ruler. The eagle 
typified the sun in its material phase and also the immutable Demiurgic law beneath which all mortal 
creatures must bend. The eagle was also the Hermetic symbol of sulphur, and signified the 
mysterious fire of Scorpio— the most profoundly significant sign of the zodiac and the Gate of the 
Great Mystery. Being one of the three symbols of Scorpio, the eagle, like the Goat of Mendes, was an 
emblem of the theurgic art and the secret processes by which the infernal fire of the scorpion was 
transmuted into the spiritual light-fire of the gods. 

Among certain American Indian tribes the thunderbird is held in peculiar esteem. This divine 
creature is said to live above the clouds; the flapping of its wings causes the rumbling which 
accompanies storms, while the flashes from its eyes are the lightning. Birds were used to signify the 
vital breath; and among the Egyptians, mysterious hawklike birds with human heads, and carrying in 
their claws the symbols of immortality, are often shown hovering as emblems of the liberated soul 
over the mummified bodies of the dead. In Egypt the hawk was the sacred symbol of the sun; and Ra, 
Osiris, and Horns are often depicted with the heads of hawks. The cock, or rooster, was a symbol of 

Cashmala (Cadmillus) in the Samothracian Mysteries, and is also a phallic symbol sacred to the sun. 
It was accepted by the Greeks as the emblem of Ares (Mars) and typified watchfulness and defense. 
When placed in the center of a weather vane it signifies the sun in the midst of the four corners of 
creation. The Greeks sacrificed a rooster to the gods at the time of entering the Eleusinian Mysteries. 
Sir Francis Bacon is supposed to have died as the result of stuffing a fowl with snow. May this not 
signify Bacon's initiation into the pagan Mysteries which still existed in his day? 

Both the peacock and the ibis were objects of veneration because they destroyed the poisonous 
reptiles which were popularly regarded as the emissaries of the infernal gods. Because of the myriad 
of eyes in its tail feathers the peacock was accepted as the symbol of wisdom, and on account of its 
general appearance it was often confused with the fabled phoenix of the Mysteries. There is a curious 
belief that the flesh of the peacock will not putrefy even though kept for a considerable time. As an 
outgrowth of this belief the peacock became the emblem of immortality, because the spiritual nature 
of man—like the flesh of this bird—is incorruptible. 

The Egyptians paid divine honors to the ibis and it was a cardinal crime to kill one, even by accident. 
It was asserted that the ibis could live only in Egypt and that if transported to a foreign country it 
would die of grief. The Egyptians declared this bird to be the preserver of crops and especially worthy 
of veneration because it drove out the winged serpents of Libya which the wind blew into Egypt. The 
ibis was sacred to Thoth, and when its head and neck were tucked under its wing its body closely 
resembled a human heart. (See Montfaucon's Antiquities.) The black and white ibis was sacred to the 
moon; but all forms were revered because they destroyed crocodile eggs, the crocodile being a symbol 
of the detested Typhon. 

Nocturnal birds were appropriate symbols of both sorcery and the secret divine sciences: sorcery 
because black magic cannot function in the light of truth (day) and is powerful only when surrounded 
by ignorance (night); and the divine sciences because those possessing the arcana are able to see 
through the darkness of ignorance and materiality. Owls and bats were consequently often associated 
with either witchcraft or wisdom. The goose was an emblem of the first primitive substance or 
condition from which and within which the worlds were fashioned. In the Mysteries, the universe was 
likened to an egg which the Cosmic Goose had laid in space. Because of its blackness the crow was the 
symbol of chaos or the chaotic darkness preceding the light of creation. The grace and purity of the 
swan were emblematic of the spiritual grace and purity of the initiate. This bird also represented the 
Mysteries which unfolded these qualities in humanity. This explains the allegories of the gods (the 
secret wisdom) incarnating in the body of a swan (the initiate). 

Being scavengers, the vulture, the buzzard, and the condor signified that form of divine power which 
by disposing of refuse and other matter dangerous to the life and health of humanity cleanses and 
purifies the lower spheres. These birds were therefore adopted as symbols of the disintegrative 
processes which accomplish good while apparently destroying, and by some religions have been 
mistakenly regarded as evil. Birds such as the parrot and raven were accorded veneration because, 
being able to mimic the human voice, they were looked upon as links between the human and animal 

The dove, accepted by Christianity as the emblem of the Holy Ghost, is an extremely ancient and 
highly revered pagan yonic emblem. In many of the ancient Mysteries it represented the third person 
of the Creative Triad, or the Fabricator of the world. As the lower worlds were brought into existence 
through a generative process, so the dove has been associated with those deities identified with the 
procreative functions. It is sacred to Astarte, Cybele, Isis, Venus, Juno, Mylitta, and Aphrodite. On 
account of its gentleness and devotion to its young, the dove was looked upon as the embodiment of 
the maternal instinct. The dove is also an emblem of wisdom, for it represents the power and order by 
which the lower worlds are maintained. It has long been accepted as a messenger of the divine will, 
and signifies the activity of God. 

The name dove has been given to oracles and to prophets. "The true name of the dove was lonah or 
Idnas; it was a very sacred emblem, and atone time almost universally received; it was adopted by the 
Hebrews; and the mystic Dove was regarded as a symbol 


From Lycosthenes' Prodigiorum, ac Ostentorum Chronicon. 

The phoenix is the most celebrated of all the symbolic creatures fabricated by the ancient Mysteries for the purpose of 
concealing the great truths of esoteric philosophy. Though modern scholars of natural history declare the existence of the 
phoenix to be purely mythical, Pliny describes the capture of one of these birds and it exhibition in the Roman Forum 
during the reign of the Emperor Claudius. 

p. 90 

from the days of Noah by all those who were of the Church of God. The prophet sent to Ninevah as 
God's messenger was called Jonah or the Dove; our Lord's forerunner, the Baptist, was called in 
Greek by the name of loannes; and so was the Apostle of Love, the author Of the fourth Gospel and of 
the Apocalypse, named loannes." (Bryant's Ana/ysis of Ancient Mythology.) 

In Masonry the dove is the symbol of purity and innocence. It is significant that in the pagan 
Mysteries the dove of Venus was crucified upon the four spokes of a great wheel, thus foreshadowing 
the mystery of the crucified Lord of Love. Although Mohammed drove the doves from the temple at 
Mecca, occasionally he is depicted with a dove sitting upon his shoulder as the symbol of divine 
inspiration. In ancient times the effigies of doves were placed upon the heads of scepters to signify 
that those bearing them were overshadowed by divine prerogative. In mediaeval art, the dove 
frequently was pictured as an emblem of divine benediction. 


Clement, one of the ante-Nicaean Fathers, describes, in the first century after Christ, the peculiar 
nature and habits of the phoenix, in this wise: "There is a certain bird which is called a Phoenix. This is 
the only one of its kind and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near 
that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when 
the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, 
which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has 
acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it 
passes from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the 

sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its 
former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly 
as the five hundredth year was completed." 

Although admitting that he had not seen the phcenix bird (there being only one alive at a time), 
Herodotus amplifies a bit the description given by Clement: "They tell a story of what this bird does 
which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the 
parent bird, all plastered with myrrh, to the temple of the sun, and there buries the body. In order to 
bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows 
out the ball, and puts his parent inside; after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and 
the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have 
said, and deposits it in the temple of the sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird." 

Both Herodotus and Pliny noted the general resemblance in shape between the phoenix and the eagle, 
a point which the reader should carefully consider, for it is reasonably certain that the modern 
Masonic eagle was originally a phoenix. The body of the phoenix is described as having been covered 
AAdth glossy purple feathers, while its long tail feathers were alternately blue and red. Its head was 
light in color and about its neck was a circlet of golden plumage. At the back of its head the phoenix 
had a peculiar tuft of feathers, a fact quite evident, although it has been overlooked by most writers 
and symbolists. 

The phoenix was regarded as sacred to the sun, and the length of its life (500 to 1000 years) was taken 
as a standard for measuring the motion of the heavenly bodies and also the cycles of time used in the 
Mysteries to designate the periods of existence. The diet of the bird was unknown. Some writers 
declare that it subsisted upon the atmosphere; others that it ate at rare intervals but never in the 
presence of man. Modern Masons should realize the special Masonic significance of the phoenix, for 
the bird is described as using sprigs of acacia in the manufacture of its nest. 

The phoenix (which is the mythological Persian roc) is also the name of a Southern constellation, and 
therefore it has both an astronomical and an astrological significance. In all probability, the phoenix 
was the swan of the Greeks, the eagle of the Romans, and the peacock of the Far East. To the ancient 
mystics the phoenix was a most appropriate symbol of the immortality of the human soul, for just as 
the phoenix was reborn out of its own dead self seven times seven, so again and again the spiritual 
nature of man rises triumphant from his dead physical body. 

Mediaeval Hermetists regarded the phoenix as a symbol of the accomplishment of alchemical 
transmutation, a process equivalent to human regeneration. The name phcenix was also given to one 
of the secret alchemical formula. The familiar pelican of the Rose Croix degree, feeding its young from 
its own breast, is in reality a phoenix, a fact which can be confirmed by an examination of the head of 
the bird. The ungainly lower part of the pelican's beak is entirely missing, the head of the phoenix 
being far more like that of an eagle than of a pelican. In the Mysteries it was customary to refer to 
initiates as phoenixes or men who had been born again, for just as physical birth gives man 
consciousness in the physical world, so the neophyte, after nine degrees in the womb of the Mysteries, 
was born into a consciousness of the Spiritual world. This is the mystery of initiation to which Christ 
referred when he said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John iii. 3). 
The phoenix is a fitting symbol of this spiritual truth. 

European mysticism was not dead at the time the United States of America was founded. The hand of 
the Mysteries controlled in the establishment of the new government, for the signature of the 
Mysteries may still be seen on the Great Seal of the United States of America. Careful analysis of the 
seal discloses a mass of occult and Masonic symbols, chief among them the so-called American eagle- 
-a bird which Benjamin Franklin declared unworthy to be chosen as the emblem of a great, powerful, 
and progressive people. Here again only the student of symbolism can see through the subterfuge and 

realize that the American eagle upon the Great Seal is but a conventionalized phoenix, a fact plainly 
discernible from an examination of the original seal. In his sketch of The History of the Seal of the 
United States, Gaillard Hunt unwittingly brings forward much material to substantiate the belief that 
the original seal carried the Phoenix bird on its obverse surface and the Great Pyramid of Gizeh upon 
its reverse surface. In a colored sketch submitted as a design for the Great Seal by William Barton in 
1782, an actual phoenix appears sitting upon a nest of flames. This itself demonstrates a tendenqr 
towards the use of this emblematic bird. 


On the left is the bird's head from the first Great Seal of the United States (1782) and on the right the Great Seal of 1902. 
When the first great Seal was actually cut, the bird represented upon it was very different from the eagle which now 
appears; the neck was much longer and the tuft of feathers, at the upper back part of the head was quite noticeable; the 
beak bore little resemblance to that of the eagle; and the entire bird was much thinner and its wings shorter. It requires 
very little imagination to trace in this first so-called eagle the mythological Phoenix of antiquity. What is more, there is 
every reason why a phoenix bird should be used to represent a new country rising out of an old, while as Benjamin 
Franklin caustically noted, the eagle was not a bird of good moral character! 


From Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians. 

The Egyptians occasionally represented the Phoenix as having the body of a man and the wings of a bird. This biform, 
creature had a tuft of feathers upon its head and its arms were upraised in an attitude of prayer. As the phoenix was the 
symbol of regeneration, the tuft of feathers on the back of its head might well symbolize the activity of the Pineal gland, or 
third eye, the occult function of which was apparently well understood by the ancient priestcraft. 


From Hunt's History of the Seal of the United States. 

The significance of the mystical number 13, which frequently appears upon the Great Seal of the United States, is not 
limited to the number of the original colonies. The sacred emblem of the ancient initiates, here composed of 13 stars,, also 
appears above the head of the "eagle." The motto, EPluribus Unum, contains 13 letters, as does also the inscription, 
Annuit Coeptis. The "eagle" clutches in its right talon a branch bearing 13 leaves and 13 berries and in its left a sheaf of 13 
arrows. The face of the pyramid, exclusive of the panel containing the date, consists of 72 stones arranged in 13 rows. 

p. 91 

If any one doubts the presence of Masonic and occult influences at the time the Great Seal was 
designed, he should give due consideration to the comments of Professor Charles Eliot Norton of 
Harvard, who wrote concerning the unfinished pyramid and the All-Seeing Eye which adorned the 
reverse of the seal, as follows: "The device adopted by Congress is practically incapable of effective 
treatment; it can hardly (however artistically treated by the designer) look otherwise than as a dull 
emblem of a Masonic fraternity." (The History of the Seal of the United States.) 

The eagles of Napoleon and Caesar and the zodiacal eagle of Scorpio are really phoenixes, for the latter 
bird—not the eagle—is the symbol of spiritual victory and achievement. Masonry will be in a position 
to solve many of the secrets of its esoteric doctrine when it realizes that both its single- and double- 
headed eagles are phoenixes, and that to all initiates and philosophers the phoenix is the symbol of the 
transmutation and regeneration of the creative energy— commonly called the accomplishment of the 
Great Work. The double-headed phoenix is the prototype of an androgynous man, for according to the 
secret teachings there will come a time when the human body will have two spinal cords, by means of 
which vibratory equilibrium will be maintained in the body. 

Not only were many of the founders of the United States Government Masons, but they received aid 
from a secret and august body existing in Europe, which helped them to establish this country for a 
peculiar and particular purpose known only to the initiated few. The Great Seal is the signature of this 
exalted body— unseen and for the most part unknown— and the unfinished pyramid upon its reverse 
side is a trestleboard setting forth symbolically the task to the accomplishment of which the United 
States Government was dedicated ftom the day of its inception. 


The lion is the king of the animal family and, like the head of each kingdom, is sacred to the sun, 
whose rays are symbolized by the lion's shaggy mane. The allegories perpetuated by the Mysteries 
(such as the one to the effect that the lion opens the secret book) signify that the solar power opens 
the seed pods, releasing the spiritual life within. There was also a curious belief among the ancients 
that the lion sleeps with his eyes open, and for this reason the animal was chosen as a symbol of 
vigilance. The figure of a lion placed on either side of doors and gateways is an emblem of divine 
guardianship. King Solomon was often symbolized as a lion. For ages the feline family has been 
regarded with peculiar veneration. In several of the Mysteries— most notably the Egyptian— the priests 
wore the skins of lions, tigers, panthers, pumas, or leopards. Hercules and Samson (both solar 
symbols) slew the lion of the constellation of Leo and robed themselves in his skin, thus signifying 
that they represented the sun itself when at the summit of the celestial arch. 

At Bubastis in Egypt was the temple of the famous goddess Bast, the cat deity of the Ptolemies. The 
Egyptians paid homage to the cat, especially when its fur was of three shades or its eyes of different 
colors. To the priests the cat was symbolic of the magnetic forces of Nature, and they surrounded 
themselves with these animals for the sake of the astral fire which emanated from their bodies. The 
cat was also a symbol of eternity, for when it sleeps it curls up into a ball with its head and tail 
touching. Among the Greeks and Latins the cat was sacred to the goddess Diana. The Buddhists of 
India invested the cat with special significance, but for a different reason. The cat was the only animal 
absent at the death of the great Buddha, because it had stopped on the way to chase a mouse. That the 
symbol of the lower astral forces should not be present at the liberation of the Buddha is significant. 

Regarding the cat, Herodotus says: "Whenever a fire breaks out, cats are agitated with a kind of divine 
motion, which they that keep them observe, neglecting the fire: The cats, however, in spite of their 
care, break from them, leaping even over the heads of their keepers to throw themselves into the fire. 
The Egyptians then make great mourning for their death. If a cat dies a natural death in a house, all 
they of that house shave their eyebrows: If a dog, they shave the head and all the body. They used to 
embalm their dead cats, and carry them to Bubastis to be interred in a sacred house. (Montfaucon's 

The most important of all symbolic animals was the Apis, or Egyptian bull of Memphis, which was 
regarded as the sacred vehicle for the transmigration of the soul of the god Osiris. It was declared that 
the Apis was conceived by a bolt of lightning, and the ceremony attendant upon its selection and 
consecration was one of the most impressive in Egyptian ritualism. The Apis had to be marked in a 
certain manner. Herodotus states that the bull must be black with a square white spot on his forehead, 
the form of an eagle (probably a vulture) on his back, a beetle upon (under) his tongue, and the hair of 
his tail lying two ways. Other writers declare that the sacred bull was marked with twenty-nine sacred 
symbols, his body was spotted, and upon his right side was a white mark in the form of a crescent. 
After its sanctification the Apis was kept in a stable adjacent to the temple and led in processionals 
through the streets of the city upon certain solemn occasions. It was a popular belief among the 
Egyptians that any child upon whom the bull breathed would become illustrious. After reaching a 
certain age (twenty-five years) the Apis was taken either to the river Nile or to a sacred fountain 
(authorities differ on this point) and drowned, amidst the lamentations of the populace. The 
mourning and wailing for his death continued until the new Apis was found, when it was declared 
that Osiris had reincarnated, whereupon rejoicing took the place of grief. 

The worship of the bull was not confined to Egypt, but was prevalent in many nations of the ancient 
world. In India, Nandi~the sacred white bull of Siva~is still the object of much veneration; and both 
the Persians and the Jews accepted the bull as an important religious symbol. The Assyrians, 
Phoenicians, Chaldeans, and even the Greeks reverenced this animal, and Jupiter turned himself into 
a white bull to abduct Europa. The bull was a powerful phallic emblem signifying the paternal creative 
power of the Demiurgus. At his death he was frequently mummified and buried with the pomp and 
dignity of a god in a specially prepared sarcophagus. Excavations in the Serapeum at Memphis have 
uncovered the tombs of more than sixty of these sacred animals. 

As the sign rising over the horizon at the vernal equinox constitutes the starry body for the annual 
incarnation of the sun, the bull not only was the celestial symbol of the Solar Man but, because the 
vernal equinox took place in the constellation of Taurus, was called the breaker or opener of the year. 
For this reason in astronomical symbolism the bull is often shown breaking the annular egg with his 
horns. The Apis further signifies that the God-Mind is incarnated in the body of a beast and therefore 
that the physical beast form is the sacred vehicle of divinity. Man's lower personality is the Apis in 
which Osiris incarnates. The result of the combination is the creation of Sor-Apis (Serapis)-the 
material soul as ruler of the irrational material body and involved therein. After a certain period 
(which is determined by the square of five, or twenty-five years), the body of the Apis is destroyed and 
the soul liberated by the water which drowns the material life. This was indicative of the washing 
away of the material nature by the baptismal waters of divine light and truth. The drowning of the 
Apis is the symbol of death; the resurrection of Osiris in the new bull is the symbol of eternal 
renovation. The white bull was also symbolically sacred as the appointed emblem of the initiates, 
signifying the spiritualized material bodies of both man and Nature. 

When the vernal equinox no longer occurred in the sign of Taurus, the Sun God incarnated in the 
constellation of Aries and the ram then became the vehicle of the solar power. Thus the sun rising in 
the sign of the Celestial Lamb triumphs over the symbolic serpent of darkness. The lamb is a familiar 
emblem of purity because of its gentleness and the whiteness of its wool. In many of the pagan 
Mysteries it signified the Universal Savior, and in Christianity it is the favorite symbol of Christ. Early 

church paintings show a lamb standing upon a Httle hill, and from its feet pour four streams of living 
water signifying the four Gospels. The blood of the lamb is the solar life pouring into the world 
through the sign of Aries. 

The goat is both a phallic symbol and also an emblem of courage or aspiration because of its 
surefootedness and ability to scale the loftiest peaks. To the alchemists the goat's head was the symbol 
of sulphur. The practice among the ancient Jews of choosing a scapegoat upon which to heap the sins 
of mankind is merely an allegorical 

p. 09100 

From Kircher's Sphinx Mystagoga. 


The importance of the bull as the symbol of the sun at the vernal equinox is discussed in the chapter 
on The Zodiac and Its Signs. The bull and the ox are ancient emblems of the element of earth- 
consequently of the planet itself. They also signify the animal nature of man, and for this reason were 
sacrificed upon the altars of such ancient Mysteries as the Jewish and Druidic. Plutarch wrote: "The 
Apis ought to be regarded by us, as a fair and beautiful image of the soul of Osiris." Osiris represents 
the spiritual nature of the lower world which is murdered and distributed throughout the substance 
of the physical spheres; Apis is the emblem of the material world within which is the spiritual nature- 
-Osiris. The Apis is also the symbol of the exoteric (or profane) doctrine, in contradistinction to the 
esoteric (or divine) teachings represented by the urseus worn upon the foreheads of the priests. Front 
this is derived the mythological allegory of Serapis, who in a certain sense is not only the composite 
figure of Osiris and the lower world in which he is incarnated but also of the Mysteries, which are the 
terrestrial bodies containing the secret teachings, or the spiritual soul. 

p. 92 

depiction of the Sun Man who is the scapegoat of the world and upon whom are cast the sins of the 
twelve houses (tribes) of the celestial universe. Truth is the Divine Lamb worshiped throughout 
pagandom and slain for the sins of the world, and since the dawn of time the Savior Gods of all 
religions have been personifications of this Truth. The Golden Fleece sought by Jason and his 
Argonauts is the Celestial Lamb—the spiritual and intellectual sun. The secret doctrine is also typified 
by the Golden Fleece— the wool of the Divine Life, the rays of the Sun of Truth. Suidas declares the 
Golden Fleece to have been in reality a book, written upon skin, which contained the formulae for the 
production of gold by means of chemistry. The Mysteries were institutions erected for the 
transmutation of base ignorance into precious illumination. The dragon of ignorance was the terrible 
creature set to guard the Golden Fleece, and represents the darkness of the old year which battles 
with the sun at the time of its equinoctial passage. 

Deer were sacred in the Bacchic Mysteries of the Greeks; the Bacchantes were often clothed in 
fawnskins. Deer were associated with the worship of the moon goddess and the Bacchic orgies were 
usually conducted at night. The grace and speed of this animal caused it to be accepted as the proper 
symbol of esthetic abandon. Deer were objects of veneration with many nations. In Japan, herds of 
them are still maintained in connection with the temples. 

The wolf is usually associated with the principle of evil, because of the mournful discordance of its 
howl and the viciousness of its nature. In Scandinavian mythology the Fenris Wolf was one of the 
sons of Loki, the infernal god of the fires. With the temple of Asgard in flames about them, the gods 
under the command of Odin fought their last great battle against the chaotic forces of evil. With 
frothing jowls the Fenris Wolf devoured Odin, the Father of the Gods, and thus destroyed the Odinic 

universe. Here the Fenris Wolf represents those mindless powers of Nature that overthrew the 
primitive creation. 

The unicorn, or monoceros, was a most curious creation of the ancient initiates. It is described by 
Thomas Boreman as "a beast, which though doubted of by many writers, yet is by others thus 
described: He has but one horn, and that an exceedingly rich one, growing out of the middle of his 
forehead. His head resembles an hart's, his feet an elephant's, his tail a boar's, and the rest of his body 
an horse's. The horn is about a foot and half in length. His voice is like the lowing of an ox. His mane 
and hair are of a yellowish colour. His horn is as hard as iron, and as rough as any file, twisted or 
curled, like a flaming sword; very straight, sharp, and everywhere black, excepting the point. Great 
virtues are attributed to it, in expelling of poison and curing of several diseases. He is not a beast of 
prey. " (See Redgrove's Bygone Beliefs.) 

While the unicorn is mentioned several times in Scripture, no proof has yet been discovered of its 
existence. There are a number of drinking horns in various museums presumably fashioned from its 
spike. It is reasonably certain, however, that these drinking vessels were really made either from the 
tusks of some large mammal or the horn of a rhinoceros. J. P. Lundy believes that the horn of the 
unicorn symbolizes the hem of salvation mentioned by St. Luke which, pricking the hearts of men, 
turns them to a consideration of salvation through Christ. Mediaeval Christian mystics employed the 
unicorn as an emblem of Christ, and this creature must therefore signify the spiritual life in man. The 
single horn of the unicorn may represent the pineal gland, or third eye, which is the spiritual 
cognition center in the brain. The unicorn was adopted by the Mysteries as a symbol of the illumined 
spiritual nature of the initiate, the horn with which it defends itself being the flaming sword of the 
spiritual doctrine against, which nothing can prevail. 

In the Book of Lambspring , a rare Hermetic tract, appears an engraving showing a deer and a 
unicorn standing together in a wood. The picture is accompanied by the following text: "The Sages say 
truly that two animals are in this forest: One glorious, beautiful, and swift, a great and strong deer; 
the other an unicorn. * * * If we apply the parable of our art, we shall call the forest the body. * * * The 
unicorn will be the spirit at all times. The deer desires no other name but that of the soul; * * *. He 
that knows how to tame and master them by art, to couple them together, and to lead them in and our 
of the form, may justly be called a Master." 

The Egyptian devil, Typhon, was often symbolized by the Set monster whose identity is obscure. It 
has a queer snoutlike nose and pointed ears, and may have been a conventional hyena. The Set 
monster lived in the sand storms and wandered about the world promulgating evil. The Egyptians 
related the howling of the desert winds with the moaning cry of the hyena. Thus when in the depths of 
the night the hyena sent forth its doleful wail it sounded like the last despairing cry of a lost soul in 
the clutches of Typhon. Among the duties of this evil creature was that of protecting the Egyptian 
dead against: grave robbers. 

Among other symbols of Typhon was the hippopotamus, sacred to the god Mars because Mars was 
enthroned in the sign of Scorpio, the house of Typhon. The ass was also sacred to this Egyptian 
demon. Jesus riding into Jerusalem upon the back of an ass has the same significance as Hermes 
standing upon the prostrate form of Typhon. The early Christians were accused of worshiping the 
head of an ass. A most curious animal symbol is the hog or sow, sacred to Diana, and frequently 
employed in the Mysteries as an emblem of the occult art. The wild boar which gored Atys shows the 
use of this animal in the Mysteries. 

According to the Mysteries, the monkey represents the condition of man before the rational soul 
entered into his constitution. Therefore it typifies the irrational man. By some the monkey is looked 

upon as a species not ensouled by the spiritual hierarchies; by others as a fallen state wherein man 
has been deprived of his divine nature through degeneracy. The ancients, though evolutionists, did 

not trace man's ascent through the monkey; the monkey they considered as having separated itself 
from the main stem of progress. The monkey was occasionally employed as a symbol of learning. 
Cynocephalus, the dog-headed ape, was the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of writing, and was closely 
associated with Thoth. Cynocephalus is symbolic of the moon and Thoth of the planet Mercury. 
Because of the ancient belief that the moon followed Mercury about the heavens the dog-ape was 
described as the faithful companion of Thoth. 

The dog, because of its faithfulness, denotes the relationship which should exist between disciple and 
master or between the initiate and his God. The shepherd dog was a type of the priestcraft. The dog's 
ability to sense and follow unseen persons for miles symbolized the transcendental power by which 
the philosopher follows the thread of truth through the labyrinth of earthly error. The dog is also the 
symbol of Mercury. The Dog Star, Sirius or Sothis, was sacred to the Egyptians because it presaged 
the annual inundations of the Nile. 

As a beast of burden the horse was the symbol of the body of man forced to sustain the weight of his 
spiritual constitution. Conversely, it also typified the spiritual nature of man forced to maintain the 
burden of the material personality. Chiron, the centaur, mentor of Achilles, represents the primitive 
creation which was the progenitor and instructor of mankind, as described by Berossus. The winged 
horse and the magic carpet both symbolize the secret doctrine and the spiritualized body of man. The 
wooden horse of Troy, secreting an army for the capture of the city, represents man's body concealing 
within it those infinite potentialities which will later come forth and conquer his environment. Again, 
like Noah's Ark, it represents the spiritual nature of man as containing a host of latent potentialities 
which subsequently become active. The siege of Troy is a symbolic account of the abduction of the 
human soul (Helena) by the personality (Paris) and its final redemption, through persevering struggle, 
by the secret doctrine—the Greek army under the command of Agamemnon. 


From Virgil's ^neid. (Dryden's translation.) 

Among the mythological creatures of the Mysteries were the harpies—projections into material substance of beings 
existing in the invisible world of Nature. They were described the Greeks as being composite, with the heads of maidens 
and the bodies of birds. The wings of the harpies were composed of metal and their flight was, accompanied by a terrible 
clanging noise. During his wanderings, ^neas, the Trojan hero, landed on the island of the harpies, where he and his 
followers vainly battled with these monsters. One of the harpies perched upon a cliff and there prophesied to i^lneid that 
his attack upon them would bring dire calamity to the Trojans. 

P- 93 

Flowers, Plants, Fruits, and Trees 

THE yoni and phallus were worshiped by nearly all ancient peoples as appropriate symbols of God's 
creative power. The Garden of Eden, the Ark, the Gate of the Temple, the Veil of the Mysteries, the 
vesica piscis or oval nimbus, and the Holy Grail are important yonic symbols; the pyramid, the 
obelisk, the cone, the candle, the tower, the Celtic monolith, the spire, the campanile, the Maypole, 
and the Sacred Spear are symbolic of the phallus. In treating the subject of Priapic worship, too many 
modern authors judge pagan standards by their own and wallow in the mire of self-created vulgarity. 
The Eleusinian Mysteries—the greatest of all the ancient secret societies—established one of the 
highest known standards of morality and ethics, and those criticizing their use of phallic symbols 
should ponder the trenchant words of King Edward HI, "Honi soit qui malypense." 

The obscene rites practiced by the later Bacchanalia and Dionysia were no more representative of the 
standards of purity originally upheld by the Mysteries than the orgies occasionally occurring among 
the adherents of Christianity till the eighteenth century were representative of primitive Christianity. 
Sir William Hamilton, British Minister at the Court of Naples, declares that in 1780, Isernia, a 
community of Christians in Italy, worshiped with phallic ceremonies the pagan god Priapus under the 
name of St. Cosmo. (See Two Essays on the Worship of Priapus, by Richard Payne Knight.) 

Father, mother, and child constitute the natural trinity. The Mysteries glorified the home as the 
supreme institution consisting of this trinity functioning as a unit. Pythagoras likened the universe to 
the family, declaring that as the supreme fire of the universe was in the midst of its heavenly bodies, 
so, by analogy, the supreme fire of the world was upon its hearthstones. The Pythagorean and other 
schools of philosophy conceived the one divine nature of God to manifest itself in the threefold aspect 
of Father, Mother, and Child. These three constituted the Divine Family, whose dwelling place is 
creation and whose natural and peculiar symbol is the 47th problem of Euclid. God the Father is 
spirit, God the Mother is matter, and God the Child— the product of the two— represents the sum of 
living things born out of and constituting Nature. The seed of spirit is sown in the womb of matter, 
and by an immaculate (pure) conception the progeny is brought into being. Is not this the true 
mystery of the Madonna holding the Holy Babe in her arms? Who dares to say that such symbolism is 
improper? The mystery of life is the supreme mystery, revealed in all of its divine dignity and glorified 
as Nature's per feet achievement by the initiated sages and seers of all ages. 

The prudery of today, however, declares this same mystery to be unfit for the consideration of holy- 
minded people. Contrary to the dictates of reason, a standard has been established which affirms that 
innocence bred of ignorance is more to be desired than virtue born of knowledge. Eventually, 
however, man will learn that he need never be ashamed of truth. Until he does learn this, he is false to 
his God, to his world, and to himself. In this respect, Christianity has woefully failed in its mission. 
While declaring man's body to be the living temple of the living God, in the same breath it asserts the 
substances and functions of this temple to be unclean and their study defiling to the sensitive 
sentiments of the righteous. By this unwholesome attitude, man's body— the house of God— is 
degraded and defamed. Yet the cross itself is the oldest of phallic emblems, and the lozenge-shaped 
windows of cathedrals are proof that yonic symbols have survived the destruction of the pagan 
Mysteries. The very structure of the church itself is permeated with phallicism. Remove from the 
Christian Church all emblems of Priapic origin and nothing is left, for even the earth upon which it 
stands was, because of its fertility, the first yonic symbol. As the presence of these emblems of the 
generative processes is either unknown or unheeded by the majority, the irony of the situation is not 
generally appreciated. Only those conversant with the secret language of antiquity are capable of 
understanding the divine significance of these emblems. 

Flowers were chosen as symbols for many reasons. The great variety of flora made it possible to find 
some plant or flower which would be a suitable figure for nearly any abstract quality or condition. A 
plant might be chosen because of some myth connected with its origin, as the stories of Daphne and 
Narcissus; because of the peculiar environment in which it thrived, as the orchid and the fungus; 
because of its significant shape, as the passion flower and the Easter lily; because of its brilliance or 
fragrance, as the verbena and the sweet lavender; because it preserved its form indefinitely, as the 
everlasting flower; because of unusual characteristics as the sunflower and heliotrope, which have 
long been sacred because of their affinity for the sun. 

The plant might also be considered worthy of veneration because from its crushed leaves, petals, 
stalks, or roots could be extracted healing unctions, essences, or drugs affecting the nature and 
intelligence of human beings—such as the poppy and the ancient herbs of prophecy. The plant might 
also be regarded as efficacious in the cure of many diseases because its fruit, leaves, petals, or roots 
bore a resemblance in shape or color to parts or organs of the human body. For example, the distilled 
juices of certain species of ferns, also the hairy moss growing upon oaks, and the thistledown were 
said to have the power of growing hair; the dentaria, which resembles a tooth in shape, was said to 
cure the toothache; and the palma Christi plant, because of its shape, cured all afflictions of the hands. 

The blossom is really the reproductive system of the plant and is therefore singularly appropriate as a 
symbol of sexual purity—an absolute requisite of the ancient Mysteries. Thus the flower signifies this 
ideal of beauty and regeneration which must ultimately take the place of lust and degeneracy. 

Of all symbolic flowers the locus blossom of India and Egypt and the rose of the Rosicrucians are the 
most important. In their symbolism these two flowers are considered identical. The esoteric doctrines 
for which the Eastern lotus stands have been perpetuated in modern Europe under the form of the 
rose. The rose and the lotus are yonic emblems, signifying primarily the maternal creative mystery, 
while the Easter lily is considered to be phallic. 

The Brahmin and Egyptian initiates, who undoubtedly understood the secret systems of spiritual 
culture whereby the latent centers of cosmic energy in man may be stimulated, employed the lotus 
blossoms to represent the spinning vortices of spiritual energy located at various points along the 
spinal column and called chakras, or whirling wheels, by the Hindus. Seven of these chakras are of 
prime importance and have their individual correspondences in the nerve ganglia and plexuses. 
According to the secret schools, the sacral ganglion is called the four-petaled lotus; the prostatic 
plexus, the six-petaled lotus; the epigastric plexus and navel, the ten-petaled lotus; the cardiac plexus, 
the twelve-petaled lotus; the pharyngeal plexus, the sixteen-petaled locus; the cavernous plexus, the 
two-petaled lotus; and the pineal gland or adjacent unknown center, the thousand-petaled locus. The 
color, size, and number of petals upon the 


This remarkable example of the use of the tree in symbolism is from the Chateau de Pierrefonds in the little town of 
Pierrefonds, northern France. The eight side branches end in conventional cup-like flowers, from each of which rises the 
body of a knight carrying in his hand a ribbon bearing his name. The central stem is surmounted by a larger flower, from 
which emerges the body of King Arthur himself. The tree is a favorite motif in heraldry. The one trunk with its multitude 
of branches caused the tree to be frequently used in diagramming family lineage, from which practice has arisen the 
custom of terming such tables "family trees." 

p- 94 

lotus are the keys to its symbolic import. A hint concerning the unfoldment of spiritual understanding 
according to the secret science of the Mysteries is found in the story of Aaron's rod that budded, and 
also in Wagner's great opera, Tannhduser, where the budding staff of the Pope signifies the unfolding 
blossoms upon the sacred rod of the Mysteries—the spinal column. 

The Rosicnicians used a garland of roses to signify the same spiritual vortices, which are referred to 
in the Bible as the seven lamps of the candlestick and the seven churches of Asia. In the 1642 edition 
of Sir Francis Bacon's History of Henry the Seventh is a frontispiece showing Lord Bacon with 
Rosicrucian roses for shoe buckles. 

In the Hindu system of philosophy, each petal of the lotus bears a certain symbol which gives an 
added clue to the meaning of the flower. The Orientals also used the lotus plant to signify the growth 
of man through the three periods of human consciousness—ignorance, endeavor, and understanding. 
As the lotus exists in three elements (earth, water, and air) so man lives in three worlds—material, 
intellectual, and spiritual. As the plant, with its roots in the mud and the slime, grows upward 
through the water and finally blossoms forth in the light and air, so the spiritual growth of man is 
upward from the darkness of base action and desire into the light of truth and understanding, the 
water serving as a symbol of the ever-changing world of illusion through which the soul must pass in 
its struggle to reach the state of spiritual illumination. The rose and its Eastern equivalent, the lotus, 
like all beautiful flowers, represent spiritual unfoldment and attainment: hence, the Eastern deities 
are often shown seated upon the open petals of the lotus blossoms. 

The lotus was also a universal motif in Egyptian art and architecture. The roofs of many temples were 
upheld by lotus columns, signifying the eternal wisdom; and the lotus-headed scepter— symbolic of 
self -unfoldment and divine prerogative— was often carried in religious processions. When the flower 
had nine petals, it was symbolic of man; when twelve, of the universe and the gods; when seven, of 
the planets and the law; when five, of the senses and the Mysteries; and when three, of the chief 
deities and the worlds. The heraldic rose of the Middle Ages generally has either five or ten petals 
thereby showing its relationship to the spiritual mystery of man through the Pythagorean pentad and 


The worship of trees as proxies of Divinity was prevalent throughout the ancient world. Temples were 
often built in the heart of sacred groves, and nocturnal ceremonials were conducted under the wide- 
spreading branches of great trees, fantastically decorated and festooned in honor of their patron 
deities. In many instances the trees themselves were believed to possess the attributes of divine power 
and intelligence, and therefore supplications were often addressed to them. The beauty, dignity, 
massiveness, and strength of oaks, elms, and cedars led to their adoption as symbols of power, 
integrity, permanence, virility, and divine protection. 

Several ancient peoples— notably the Hindus and Scandinavians — regarded the Macrocosm, or Grand 
Universe, as a divine tree growing from a single seed sown in space. The Greeks, Persians, Chaldeans, 
and Japanese have legends describing the axle tree or reed upon which the earth revolves. Kapila 
declares the universe to be the eternal tree, Brahma, which springs from an imperceptible and 
intangible seed— the material monad. The mediseval Qabbalists represented creation as a tree with its 
roots in the reality of spirit and its branches in the illusion of tangible existence. The Sephirothic tree 
of the Qabbalah was therefore inverted, with its roots in heaven and its branches upon the earth. 
Madam Blavatsky notes that the Great Pyramid was considered to be a symbol of this inverted tree, 
with its root at the apex of the pyramid and its branches diverging in four streams towards the base. 

The Scandinavian world-tree, Yggdrasil, supports on its branches nine spheres or worlds,— which the 
Egyptians symbolized by the nine stamens of the persea or avocado. All of these are enclosed within 
the mysterious tenth sphere or cosmic egg— the definitionless Cipher of the Mysteries. The Qabbalistic 
tree of the Jews also consists of nine branches, or worlds, emanating from the First Cause or Crown, 
which surrounds its emanations as the shell surrounds the egg. The single source of life and the 
endless diversity of its expression has a perfect analogy in the structure of the tree. The trunk 
represents the single origin of all diversity; the roots, deeply imbedded in the dark earth, are symbolic 

of divine nutriment; and its multiplicity of branches spreading from the central trunk represent the 
infinity of universal effects dependent upon a single cause. 

The tree has also been accepted as symbolic of the Microcosm, that is, man. According to the esoteric 
doctrine, man first exists potentially within the body of the world-tree and later blossoms forth into 
objective manifestation upon its branches. According to an early Greek Mystery myth, the god Zeus 
fabricated the third race of men from ash trees. The serpent so often shown wound around the trunk 
of the tree usually signifies the mind—the power of thought—and is the eternal tempter or urge which 
leads all rational creatures to the ultimate discovery of reality and thus overthrows the rule of the 
gods. The serpent hidden in the foliage of the universal tree represents the cosmic mind; and in the 
human tree, the individualized intellect. 

The concept that all life originates from seeds caused grain and various plants to be accepted as 
emblematic of the human spermatozoon, and the tree was therefore symbolic of organized life 
unfolding from its primitive germ. The growth of the universe from its primitive seed may be likened 
to the growth of the mighty oak from the tiny acorn. While the tree is apparently much greater than 
its own source, nevertheless that source contains potentially every branch, twig, and leaf which will 
later be objectively unfolded by the processes of growth. 

Man's veneration for trees as symbols of the abstract qualities of wisdom and integrity also led him to 
designate as trees those individuals who possessed these divine qualities to an apparently 
superhuman degree. Highly illumined philosophers and priests were therefore often referred to as 
trees or tree men— for example, the Druids, whose name, according to one interpretation, signifies the 
men of the oak trees, or the initiates of certain Syrian Mysteries who were called cedars; in fact it is 
far more credible and probable that the famous cedars of Lebanon, cut down for the building of King 
Solomon's Temple, were really illumined, initiated sages. The mystic knows that the true supports of 
God's Glorious House were not the logs subject to decay but the immortal and imperishable intellects 
of the tree hierophants. 

Trees are repeatedly mentioned in the Old and New Testaments, and in the scriptures of various 
pagan nations. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil mentioned in Genesis, 
the burning bush in which the angel appeared to Moses, the famous vine and fig tree of the New 
Testament, the grove of olives in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus went to pray, and the 
miraculous tree of Revelation, which bore twelve manners of fruit and whose leaves were for the 
healing of the nations, all bear witness to the esteem in which trees were held by the scribes of Holy 
Writ. Buddha received his illumination while under the bodhi tree, near Madras in India, and several 
of the Eastern gods are pictured sitting in meditation beneath the spreading branches of mighty trees. 
Many of the great sages and saviors carried wands, rods, or staves cut from the wood of sacred trees, 
as the rods of Moses and Aaron; Gungnir— the spear of Odin— cut from the Tree of Life; and the 
consecrated rod of Hermes, around which the fighting serpents entwined themselves. 

The numerous uses which the ancients made of the tree and its products are factors in its symbolism. 
Its worship was, to a certain degree, based upon its usefulness. Of this J. P. Lundy writes: "Trees 
occupy such an important place in the economy of nature by way of attracting and retaining moisture, 
and shading the water-sources and the soil so as to prevent barrenness and desolation; the), are so 


From the "Breeches" Bible 0/1599. 

Most Bibles published during the Middle Ages contain a section devoted to genealogical tables showing the descent of 
humanity from Father Adam to the advent of Jesus Christ. The tree growing from the roof of the Ark represents the body 
of Noah and its three branches, his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth. The nations by the descendents of Noah's three sons 
are appropriately shown in the circles upon the branches of the tree. While such tables are hopelessly incorrect from a 
historical point of view, to the symbolist their allegorical interpretations are of inestimable importance. 

p- 95 

useful to man for shade, for fruit, for medicine, for fuel, for building houses and ships, for furniture, 
for almost every department of life, that it is no wonder that some of the more conspicuous ones, such 
as the oak, the pine, the palm, and the sycamore, have been made sacred and used for worship." (See 
Monumental Christianity.) 

The early Fathers of the church sometimes used the tree to symbolize Christ. They believed that 
ultimately Christianity would grow up like a mighty oak and overshadow all other faiths of mankind. 
Because it annually discards its foliage, the tree was also looked upon as an appropriate emblem of 
resurrection and reincarnation, for though apparently dying each fall it blossomed forth again with 
renewed verdure each ensuing spring. 

Under the appellations of the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is 
concealed the great arcanum of antiquity—the mystery of equilibrium. The Tree of Life represents the 
spiritual point of balance—the secret of immortality. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, as 
its name implies, represents polarity, or unbalance— the secret of mortality. The Qabbalists reveal this 
by assigning the central column of their Sephirothic diagram to the Tree of Life and the two side 
branches to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. "Unbalanced forces perish in the void," 
declares the secret work, and all is made known. The apple represents the knowledge of the 
procreative processes, by the awakening of which the material universe was established. The allegory 
of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a cosmic myth, revealing the methods of universal and 
individual establishment. The literal story, accepted for so many centuries by an unthinking world, is 
preposterous, but the creative mystery of which it is the symbol is one of Nature's profoundest verities. 
The Ophites (serpent worshipers) revered the Edenic snake because it was the cause of individual 
existence. Though humanity is still wandering in a world of good and evil, it will ultimately attain 
completion and eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life growing in the midst of the illusionary garden of 
worldly things. Thus the Tree of Life is also the appointed symbol of the Mysteries, and by partaking 
of its fruit man attains immortality. 

The oak, the pine, the ash, the cypress, and the palm are the five trees of greatest symbolic 
importance. The Father God of the Mysteries was often worshiped under the form of an oak; the 
Savior God— frequently the World Martyr— in the form of a pine; the world axis and the divine nature 
in humanity in the form of an ash; the goddesses, or maternal principle, in the form of a cypress; and 
the positive pole of generation in the form of the inflorescence of the mate date palm. The pine cone is 
a phallic symbol of remote antiquity. The thyrsus of Bacchus— a long wand or staff surmounted by a 
pine cone or cluster of grapes and entwined with ivy or grape-vine leaves, sometimes ribbons- 
signifies that the wonders of Nature may only be accomplished by the aid of solar virility, as 
symbolized by the cone or grapes. In the Phrygian Mysteries, Atys— the ever-present sun-savior— dies 
under the branches of the pine tree (an allusion to the solar globe at the winter solstice) and for this 
reason the pine tree was sacred to his cult. This tree was also sacred in the Mysteries of Dionysos and 

Among the ancient Egyptians and Jews the acacia, or tamarisk, was held in the highest religious 
esteem; and among modern Masons, branches of acacia, cypress, cedar, or evergreen are still 
regarded as most significant emblems. The shittim-wood used by the children of Israel in the 
construction of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant was a species of acacia. In describing this 
sacred tree, Albert Pike has written: "The genuine acacia, also, is the thorny tamarisk, the same tree 
which grew around the body of Osiris. It was a sacred tree among the Arabs, who made of it the idol 
Al-Uzza, which Mohammed destroyed. It is abundant as a bush in the desert of Thur; and of it the 
'crown of thorns' was composed, which was set on the forehead of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a fit type of 
immortality on account of its tenacity of life; for it has been known, when planted as a door-post, to 
take root again and shoot out budding boughs above the threshold." (See Morals and Dogma.) 

It is quite possible that much of the veneration accorded the acacia is due to the peculiar attributes of 
the mimosa, or sensitive plant, with which it was often identified by the ancients. There is a Coptic 
legend to the effect that the sensitive plant was the first of all trees or shrubs to worship Christ. The 
rapid growth of the acacia and its beauty have also caused it to be regarded as emblematic of 
fecundity and generation. 

The symbolism of the acacia is susceptible of four distinct interpretations: (i) it is the emblem of the 
vernal equinox— the annual resurrection of the solar deity; (2) under the form of the sensitive plant 
which shrinks from human touch, the acacia signifies purity and innocence, as one of the Greek 
meanings of its name implies; (3) it fittingly typifies human immortality and regeneration, and under 
the form of the evergreen represents that immortal part of man which survives the destruction of his 
visible nature; (4) it is the ancient and revered emblem of the Mysteries, and candidates entering the 

tortuous passageways in which the ceremonials were given carried in their hands branches of these 
sacred plants or small clusters of sanctified flowers. 

Albert G. Mackey calls attention to the fact that each of the ancient Mysteries had its own peculiar 
plant sacred to the gods or goddesses in whose honor the rituals were celebrated. These sacred plants 
were later adopted as the symbols of the various degrees in which they were used. Thus, in the 
Mysteries of Adonis, lettuce was sacred; in the Brahmin and Egyptian rites, the lotus; among the 
Druids, the mistletoe; and among certain of the Greek Mysteries, the myrtle. (See Encyclopaedia of 

As the legend of CHiram Abiff is based upon the ancient Egyptian Mystery ritual of the murder and 
resurrection of Osiris, it is natural that the sprig of acacia should be preserved as symbolic of the 
resurrection of CHiram. The chest containing the body of Osiris was washed ashore near Byblos and 
lodged in the roots of a tamarisk, or acacia, which, growing into a mighty tree, enclosed within its 
trunk the body of the murdered god. This is undoubtedly the origin of the story that a sprig of acacia 
marks the grave of CHiram. The mystery of the evergreen marking the grave of the dead sun god is 
also perpetuated in the Christmas tree. 

The apricot and quince are familiar yonic symbols, while the bunch of grapes and the fig are phallic. 
The pomegranate is the mystic fruit of the Eleusinian rites; by eating it, Prosperine bound herself to 
the realms of Pluto. The fruit here signifies the sensuous life which, once tasted, temporarily deprives 
man of immortality. Also on account of its vast number of seeds the pomegranate was often employed 
to represent natural fecundity. For the same reason, Jacob Bryant in his Ancient My thology notes 
that the ancients recognized in this fruit an appropriate emblem of the Ark of the Deluge, 


From Kircher's Magnes sive deArte Magnetica Opus Tripartitum. 

The above diagram illustrates a curious experiment in plant magnetism reproduced with several other experiments in 
Athanasius Kircher's rare volume on magnetism. Several plants were sacred to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Hindus 
because of the peculiar effect which the sun exerted over them. As it is difficult for man to look upon the face of the sun 

without being blinded by the hght, those plants which turned and deliberately faced the solar orb were considered typical 
of very highly advanced souls. Since the sun was regarded as the personification of the Supreme Deity, those forms of life 
over which it exercised marked influence were venerated as being sacred to Divinity. The sunflower, because of its plainly 
perceptible affinity for the sun, was given high rank among sacred plants. 

p. 96 

which contained the seeds of the new human race. Among the ancient Mysteries the pomegranate was 
also considered to be a divine symbol of such peculiar significance that its true explanation could not 
be divulged. It was termed by the Cabiri "the forbidden secret." Many Greek gods and goddesses are 
depicted holding the fruit or flower of the pomegranate in their hands, evidently to signify that they 
are givers of life and plenty. Pomegranate capitals were placed upon the pillars of Jachin and Boaz 
standing in front of King Solomon's Temple; and by the order of Jehovah, pomegranate blossoms 
were embroidered upon the bottom of the High Priest's ephod. 

Strong wine made from the juice of the grape was looked upon as symbolic of the false life and false 
light of the universe, for it was produced by a false process—artificial fermentation. The rational 
faculties are clouded by strong drink, and the animal nature, liberated from bondage, controls the 
individual—facts which necessarily were of the greatest spiritual significance. As the lower nature is 
the eternal tempter seeking co lead man into excesses which inhibit the spiritual faculties, the grape 
and its product were used to symbolize the Adversary. 

The juice of the grape was thought by the Egyptians to resemble human blood more closely than did 
any other substance. In fact, they believed that the grape secured its life from the blood of the dead 
who had been buried in the earth. According to Plutarch, "The priests of the sun at Heliopolis never 
carry any wine into their temples, * * * and if they made use of it at any time in their libations to the 
gods, it was not because they looked upon it as in its own nature acceptable to them; but they poured 
it upon their altars as the blood of those enemies who formerly had fought against them. For they 
look upon the vine to have first sprung out of the earth after it was fattened with the carcasses of 
those who fell in the wars against the gods. And this, say they, is the reason why drinking its juice in 
great quantities makes men mad and beside themselves, filling them as it were with the blood of their 
own ancestors." (See Isis and Osiris.) 

Among some cults the state of intoxication was viewed as a condition somewhat akin to ecstasy, for 
the individual was believed to be possessed by the Universal Spirit of Life, whose chosen vehicle was 
the vine. In the Mysteries, the grape was often used to symbolize lust and debauchery because of its 
demoralizing effect upon the emotional nature. The fact was recognized, however, that fermentation 
was the certain evidence of the presence of the solar fire, hence the grape was accepted as the proper 
symbol of the Solar Spirit —the giver of divine enthusiasm. In a somewhat similar manner. Christians 
have accepted wine as the emblem of the blood of Christ, partaking of it in Holy Communion. Christ, 
the exoteric emblem of the Solar Spirit, said, "I am the vine." He was therefore worshiped with the 
wine of ecstasy in the same manner as were his pagan prototypes— Bacchus, Dionysos, Arys, and 

The mandragora offtcinarum, or mandrake, is accredited with possessing the most remarkable 
magical powers. Its narcotic properties were recognized by the Greeks, who employed it to deaden 
pain during surgical operations, and it has been identified also with baaras, the mystic herb used by 
the Jews for casting out demons. In the Jewish Wars, Josephus describes the method of securing the 
baaras, which he declares emits flashes of lightning and destroys all who seek to touch it, unless they 
proceed according to certain rules supposedly formulated by King Solomon himself. 

The occult properties of the mandrake, while little understood, have been responsible for the 
adoption of the plant as a talisman capable of increasing the value or quantity of anything with which 
it was associated. As a phallic charm, the mandrake was considered to be an infallible cure for sterility. 

It was one of the Priapic symbols which the Knights Templars were accused of worshiping. The root 

of the plant closely resembles a human body and often bore the outlines of the human head, arms, or 
legs. This striking similarity between the body of man and the mandragora is one of the puzzles of 
natural science and is the real basis for the veneration in which this plant was held. In Isis Unveiled, 
Madam Blavatsky notes that the mandragora seems to occupy upon earth the point where the 
vegetable and animal kingdoms meet, as the zoophites and polypi do in die sea. This thought opens a 
vast field of speculation concerning the nature of this animal-plant. 

According to a popular superstition, the mandrake shrank from being touched and, crying out with a 
human voice, clung desperately to the soil in which it was imbedded. Anyone who heard its cry while 
plucking it either immediately died or went mad. To circumvent this tragedy, it was customary to dig 
around the roots of the mandrake until the plant was thoroughly loosened and then to tie one end of a 
cord about the stalk and fasten the other end to a dog. The dog, obeying his master's call, thereupon 
dragged the root from the earth and became the victim of the mandragora curse. When once uprooted, 
the plant could be handled with immunity. 

During the Middle Ages, mandrake charms brought great prices and an art was evolved by which the 
resemblance between the mandragora root and the human body was considerably accentuated. Like 
most superstitions, the belief in the peculiar powers of the mandrake was founded upon an ancient 
secret doctrine concerning the true nature of the plant. "It is slightly narcotic," says Eliphas Levi, "and 
an aphrodisiacal virtue was ascribed to it by the ancients, who represented it as being sought by 
Thessalian sorcerers for the composition of philtres. Is this root the umbilical vestige of our terrestrial 
origin, as a certain magical mysticism has suggested? We dare not affirm it seriously, but it is true all 
the same that man issued from the slime of earth and his first appearance must have been in the form 
of a rough sketch. The analogies of Nature compel us to admit the notion, at least as a possibility. The 
first men were, in this case, a family of gigantic, sensitive mandrogores, animated by the sun, who 
rooted themselves up from the earth." (See Transcendental Magic.) 

The homely onion was revered by the Egyptians as a symbol of the universe because its rings and 
layers represented the concentric planes into which creation was divided according to the Hermetic 
Mysteries. It was also regarded as possessing great medicinal virtue. Because of peculiar properties 
resulting from its pungency, the garlic plant was a powerful agent in transcendental magic. To this 
day no better medium has been found for the treatment of obsession. Vampirism and certain forms of 
insanity—especially those resulting from mediumship and the influences of elemental larvae—respond 
immediately to the use of garlic. In the Middle Ages, its presence in a house was believed to ward off 
all evil powers. 

Trifoliate plants, such as the shamrock, were employed by many religious cults to represent the 
principle of the Trinity. St. Patrick is supposed to have used the shamrock to illustrate this doctrine of 
the triune Divinity. The reason for the additional sanctity conferred by a fourth leaf is that the fourth 
principle of the Trinity is man, and the presence of this leaf therefore signifies the redemption of 

Wreaths were worn during initiation into the Mysteries and the reading of the sacred books to signify 
that these processes were consecrated to the deities. On the symbolism of wreaths, Richard Payne 
Knight writes: "Instead of beads, wreaths of foliage, generally of laurel, olive, myrtle, ivy, or oak, 
appear upon coins, sometimes encircling the symbolical figures, and sometimes as chaplets upon 
their heads. All these were sacred to some peculiar personifications of the deity, and significant of 
some particular attributes, and, in general, all evergreens were Dionysiac planes; that is, symbols of 
the generative power, signifying perpetuity of youth and vigor, as the circles of beads and diadems 
signify perpetuity of existence. (See Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology.) 


From Museum Hermeticum Reformatum et Amplificatum. 

The alchemists were went to symbohze their metals by means of a tree, to indicate that all seven were branches dependent 
upon the single trunk of solar life. As the Seven Spirits depend upon God and are branches of a tree of which He is the root, 
trunk, and the spiritual earth from which the root derives its nourishment, so the single trunk of divine life and power 
nourishes all the multitudinous forms of which the universe is composed. 

In Gloria Mundi, from which the above illustration is reproduced, there is contained an important thought concerning the 
plantlike growth of metals: "All trees, herbs, stones, metals, and minerals grow and attain to perfection without being 
necessarily touched by any human hand: for the seed is raised up from the ground, puts forth flowers, and bears fruit, 
simply through the agency of natural influences. As it is with plants, so it is with metals. While they lie in the heart of the 
earth, in their natural ore, they grow and are developed, day by day, through the influence of the four elements: their fire 
is the splendor of the Sun and Moon; the earth conceives in her womb the splendor of the Sun, and by it the seeds of the 
metals are well and equally warmed, just like the grain in the fields. * * * For as each tree of the field has its own peculiar 
shape, appearance, and fruit, so each mountain bears its own particular ore; those stones and that earth being the soil in 
which the metals grow." (See Translation of 1893.) 

P- 97 

Stones, Metals and Gems 

EACH of the four primary elements as taught by the early philosophers has its analogue in the 
quaternary terrestrial constitution of man. The rocks and earth correspond to the bones and flesh; the 
water to the various fluids; the air to the gases; and the fire to the bodily heat. Since the bones are the 
framework that sustains the corporeal structure, they maybe regarded as a fitting emblem of the 
spirit—that divine foundation which supports the composite fabric of mind, soul, and body. To the 
initiate, the skeleton of death holding in bony fingers the reaper's scythe denotes Saturn (Kronos), the 
father of the gods, carrying the sickle with which he mutilated Ouranos, his own sire. 

In the language of the Mysteries, the spirits of men are the powdered bones of Saturn. The latter 
deity was always worshiped under the symbol of the base or footing, inasmuch as he was considered 
to be the substructure upholding creation. The myth of Saturn has its historical basis in the 
fragmentary records preserved by the early Greeks and Phoenicians concerning a king by that name 
who ruled over the ancient continent of Hyperborea. Polaris, Hyperborea, and Atlantis, because they 
lie buried beneath the continents and oceans of the modern world, have frequently been symbolized 
as rocks supporting upon their broad surfaces new lands, races, and empires. According to the 
Scandinavian Mysteries, the stones and cliffs were formed from the bones of Ymir, the primordial 
giant of the seething clay, while to the Hellenic mystics the rocks were the bones of the Great Mother, 

After the deluge sent by the gods to destroy mankind at the close of the Iron Age, only Deucalion and 
Pyrrha were left alive. Entering a ruined sanctuary to pray, they were directed by an oracle to depart 
from the temple and with heads veiled and garments unbound cast behind them the bones of their 
mother. Construing the cryptic message of the god to mean that the earth was the Great Mother of all 
creatures, Deucalion picked up loose rocks and, bidding Pyrrha do likewise, cast them behind him. 
From these rocks there sprang forth a new and stalwart race of human beings, the rocks thrown by 
Deucalion becoming men and those thrown by Pyrrha becoming women. In this allegory is 
epitomized the mystery of human evolution; for spirit, by ensouling matter, becomes that indwelling 
power which gradually but sequentially raises the mineral to the status of the plant; the plant to the 
plane of the animal; the animal to the dignity of man; and man to the estate of the gods. 

The solar system was organized by forces operating inward from the great ring of the Saturnian 
sphere; and since the beginnings of all things were under the control of Saturn, the most reasonable 
inference is that the first forms of worship were dedicated to him and his peculiar symbol—the stone. 
Thus the intrinsic nature of Saturn is synonymous with that spiritual rock which is the enduring 
foundation of the Solar Temple, and has its antitype or lower octave in that terrestrial rock— the 
planet Earth— which sustains upon its jagged surface the diversified genera of mundane life. 

Although its origin is uncertain, litholatry undoubtedly constitutes one of the earliest forms of 
religious expression. "Throughout all the world, " writes Godfrey Higgins, "the first object of Idolatry 
seems to have been a plain, unwrought stone, placed in the ground, as an emblem of the generative or 
procreative powers of nature." (See The Celtic Druids.) Remnants of stone worship are distributed 
over the greater part of the earth's surface, a notable example being the menhirs at Carnac, in 
Brittany, where several thousand gigantic uncut stones are arranged in eleven orderly rows. Many of 
these monoliths stand over twenty feet out of the sand in which they are embedded, and it has been 
calculated that some of the larger ones weigh as much as 250,000 pounds. By some it is believed that 
certain of the menhirs mark the location of buried treasure, but the most plausible view is that which 
regards Carnac as a monument to the astronomical knowledge of antiquity. Scattered throughout the 

British Isles and Europe, these cairns, dolmens, menhirs, and cistvaens stand as mute but eloquent 
testimonials to the existence and achievements of races now extinct. 

Of particular interest are the rocking or logan stones, which evince the mechanical skill of these early 
peoples. These relics consist of enormous boulders poised upon one or two small points in such a 
manner that the slightest pressure will sway them, but the greatest effort is not sufficient to 
overthrow them. These were called living stones by the Greeks and Latins, the most famous one being 
the Gygorian stone in the Strait of Gibraltar. Though so perfectly balanced that it could be moved 
with the stalk of a daffodil, this rock could not be upset by the combined weight of many men. There 
is a legend that Hercules raised a rocking stone over the graves of the two sons of Boreas whom he 
had killed in combat. This stone was so delicately poised that it swayed back and forth with the wind, 
but no application of force could overturn it. A number of logan stones have been found in Britain, 
traces of one no longer standing having been discovered in Stonehenge. (See The Celtic Druids.) It is 
interesting to note that the green stones forming the inner ring of Stonehenge are believed to have 
been brought from Africa. 

In many cases the monoliths are without carving or inscription, for they undoubtedly antedate both 
the use of tools and the art of writing. In some instances the stones have been trued into columns or 
obelisks, as in the runic monuments and the Hindu lingams and sakti stones; in other instances they 
are fashioned into rough likenesses of the human body, as in the Easter Island statues, or into the 
elaborately sculptured figures of the Central American Indians and the Khmers of Cambodia. The 
first rough-stone images can hardly be considered as effigies of any particular deity but rather as the 
crude effort of primitive man to portray in the enduring qualities of stone the procreative attributes of 
abstract Divinity. An instinctive recognition of the stability of Deity has persisted through all the 
intervening ages between primitive man and modem civilization. Ample proof of the survival of 
litholatry in the Christian faith is furnished by allusions to the rock of refuge, the rock upon which the 
church of Christ was to be founded, the comer stone which the builders rejected, Jacob's stony pillow 
which he set up and anointed with oil, the sling stone of David, the rock Moriah upon which the altar 
of King Solomon's Temple was erected, the white stone of Revelation, and the Rock of Ages. 

Stones were highly venerated by prehistoric peoples primarily because of their usefulness. Jagged bits 
of stone were probably man's first weapons; rocky cliffs and crags constituted his first fortifications, 
and from these vantage points he hurled loose boulders down upon marauders. In caverns or rude 
huts fashioned from slabs of rock the first humans protected themselves from the rigors of the 
elements. Stones were set up as markers and monuments to primitive achievement; they were also 
placed upon the graves of the dead, probably as a precautionary measure to prevent the depredations 
of wild beasts. During migrations, it was apparently customary for primitive peoples to carry about 
with them stones taken from their original habitat. As the homeland or birthplace of a race was 
considered sacred, these stones were emblematic of that universal regard shared by all nations for the 
place of their geniture. The discovery that fire could be produced by striking together two pieces of 
stone augmented man's reverence for stones, but ultimately the hitherto unsuspected world of 
wonders opened by the newly discovered element of fire caused pyrolatry to supplant stone worship. 
The dark, cold Father~stone~gave birth out of itself to the bright, glowing Son-fire; and the newly 
born flame, by displacing its parent, became the most impressive and mysterious of all religio- 
philosophic symbols, widespread and enduring through the ages. 


From Catrari's Imagini degli Dei degli Antichi. 

Saturn, having been warned by his parents that one of his own children would dethrone him, devoured each child at birth. 

At last Rhea, his wife, in order to save Jupiter, her sixth child substituted for him a rock enveloped in swaddling clothes— 
which Saturn, ignorant of the deception practiced upon him, immediately swallowed. Jupiter was concealed on the island 
of Crete until he attained manhood, when he forced his father to disgorge the five children he had eaten. The stone 
swallowed by Saturn in lieu of his youngest son was placed by Jupiter at Delphi, where it was held in great veneration and 
was daily anointed. 

p. 98 

The body of every thing v\^as hkened to a rock, trued either into a cube or more ornately chiseled to 
form a pedestal, while the spirit of everything was likened to the elaborately carved figure 
surmounting it. Accordingly, altars were erected as a symbol of the lower world, and fires were kept 
burning upon them to represent that spiritual essence illuminating the body it surmounted. The 
square is actually one surface of a cube, its corresponding figure in plane geometry, and its proper 
philosophic symbol. Consequently, when considering the earth as an element and not as a body, the 
Greeks, Brahmins, and Egyptians always referred to its four corners, although they were fully aware 
that the planet itself was a sphere. 

Because their doctrines were the sure foundation of all knowledge and the first step in the attainment 
of conscious immortality, the Mysteries were often represented as cubical or pyramidal stones. 
Conversely, these stones themselves became the emblem of that condition of self-achieved godhood. 
The unchangeability of the stone made it an appropriate emblem of God—the immovable and 
unchangeable Source of Existence—and also of the divine sciences— the eternal revelation of Himself 
to mankind. As the personification of the rational intellect, which is the true foundation of human life. 
Mercury, or Hermes, was symbolized in a like manner. Square or cylindrical pillars, surmounted by a 
bearded head of Hermes and called hermae, were set up in public places. Terminus, a form of Jupiter 
and god of boundaries and highways, from whose name is derived the modern word terminal, was 
also symbolized by an upright stone, sometimes ornamented with the head of the god, which was 
placed at the borders of provinces and the intersections of important roads. 

The philosopher's stone is really the philosophical stone, for philosophy is truly likened to a magic 
jewel whose touch transmutes base substances into priceless gems like itself. Wisdom is the 
alchemist's powder of projection which transforms many thousand times its own weight of gross 
ignorance into the precious substance of enlightenment. 


While upon the heights of Mount Sinai, Moses received from Jehovah two tablets bearing the 
characters of the Decalogue traced by the very finger of Israel's God. These tables were fashioned 
from the divine sapphire, Schethiya, which the Most High, after removing from His own throne, had 
cast into the Abyss to become the foundation and generator of the worlds. This sacred stone, formed 
of heavenly dew, was sundered by the breath of God, and upon the two parts were drawn in black fire 
the figures of the Law. These precious inscriptions, aglow with celestial splendor, were delivered by 
the Lord on the Sabbath day into the hands of Moses, who was able to read the illumined letters from 
the reverse side because of the transparency of the great jewel. (See The Secret Doctrine in Israel or 
The Zohar for details of this legend.) 

The Ten Commandments are the ten shining gems placed by the Holy One in the sapphire sea of 
Being, and in the depths of matter the reflections of these jewels are seen as the laws governing the 
sublunary spheres. They are the sacred ten by which the Supreme Deity has stamped His will upon 
the face of Nature. This same decad was celebrated by the Pythagoreans under the form of the 
tetractys—that triangle of spermatic points which reveals to the initiated the whole working of the 
cosmic scheme; for ten is the number of perfection, the key to creation, and the proper symbol of God, 
man, and the universe. 

Because of the idolatry of the Israelites, Moses deemed the people unworthy to receive the sapphire 
tables; hence he destroyed them, that the Mysteries of Jehovah should not be violated. For the 
original set Moses substituted two tablets of rough stone into the surface of which he had cut ten 
ancient letters. While the former tables—partaking of the divinity of the Tree of Life—blazed forth 
eternal verities, the latter— partaking of the nature of the Tree of Good and Evil— revealed only 
temporal truths. Thus the ancient tradition of Israel returned again to heaven, leaving only its shadow 
with the children of the twelve tribes. 

One of the two tables of stone delivered by the Lawgiver to his followers stood for the oral, the other 
for the written traditions upon which the Rabbinical School was founded. Authorities differ widely as 
to the size and substance of the inferior tables. Some describe them as being so small that they could 
be held in the hollow of a man's hand; others declare that each table was ten or twelve cubits in length 
and of enormous weight. A few even deny that the tables were of stone, maintaining that they were of 
a wood called sedr, which, according to the Mohammedans, grows profusely in Paradise. 

The two tables signify respectively the superior and the inferior worlds— the paternal and the 
maternal formative principles. In their undivided state they represent the Cosmic Androgyne. The 
breaking of the tables signifies obscurely the separation of the superior and the inferior spheres and 
also the division of the sexes. In the religious processionals of the Greeks and Egyptians an ark or ship 
was carried which contained stone tablets, cones, and vessels of various shapes emblematic of the 
procreative processes. The Ark of the Israelites— which was patterned after the sacred chests of the 
Isiac Mysteries— contained three holy objects, each having an important phallic interpretation: the 
pot of manna, the rod that budded, and the Tablets of the Law— the first, second, and third Principles 
of the Creative Triad. The manna, the blossoming staff, and the stone tables are also appropriate 
images respectively of the Qabbalah, the Mishna, and the written law— the spirit, soul, and body of 
Judaism. When placed in King Solomon's Everlasting House, the Ark of the Covenant contained only 
the Tablets of the Law. Does this indicate that even at that early date the secret tradition had been lost 
and the letter of the revelation alone remained? 

As representing the power that fabricated the lower, or Demiurgic, sphere, the tablets of stone were 
sacred to Jehovah in contradistinction to the tablets of sapphire that signified the potency that 
established the higher, or celestial, sphere. Without doubt the Mosaic tablets have their prototype in 
the stone pillars or obelisks placed on either side of the entrance to pagan temples. These columns 

may pertain to that remote time when men worshiped the Creator through His zodiacal sign of 
Gemini, the symbol of which is still the phallic pillars of the Celestial Twins. "The Ten 
Commandments, writes Hargrave Jennings, "are inscribed in two groups of five each, in columnar 
form. The five to the right (looking from the altar) mean the 'Law'; the five to the left mean the 
'Prophets.' The right stone is masculine, the left stone is feminine. They correspond to the two 
disjoined pillars of stone (or towers) in the front of every cathedral, and of every temple in the 
heathen times." (See The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries.) The same author states that the 
Law is masculine because it was delivered direct from the Deity, while the Prophets, or Gospels, were 
feminine because bom through the nature of man. 

The right Tablet of the Law further signifies Jachin— the white pillar of light; the left Tablet, Boaz— the 
shadowy pillar of darkness. These were the names of the two pillars cast from brass set up on the 
porch of King Solomon's Temple. They were eighteen cubits in height and beautifully ornamented 
with wreaths of chainwork, nets, and pomegranates. On the top of each pillar was a large bowl—now 
erroneously called a ball or globe—one of the bowls probably containing fire and the other water. The 
celestial globe (originally the bowl of fire), surmounting the right-hand column (Jachin), symbolized 
the divine man; the terrestrial globe (the bowl of water), surmounting the left-hand column (Boaz), 
signified the earthly man. These two pillars respectively connote also the active and the passive 
expressions of Divine Energy, the sun and the moon, sulphur and salt, good and bad, light and 
darkness. Between them is the door leading into the House of God, and standing thus at the gates of 
Sanctuary they are a reminder that Jehovah is both an androgynous and an anthropomorphic deity. 
As two parallel columns they denote the zodiacal signs of Cancer and Capricorn, which were formerly 
placed in the chamber of initiation to represent birth and death— the extremes of physical life. They 
accordingly signify the summer and the winter solstices, now known to Freemasons under the 
comparatively modem appellation of the "two St. Johns." 

In the mysterious Sephirothic Tree of the Jews, these two pillars symbolize Mercy and Severity. 
Standing before the gate of King Solomon's Temple, these columns had the same symbolic import as 
the obelisks before the sanctuaries of Egypt. When interpreted Qabbalistically, the names of the two 
pillars mean "In strength shall 

ExoD-Xjs GHAP.xm 

Exodus jiYerifiiS, 


From an old Bible. 

Moses Maimonides, the great Jewish Philosopher of the twelfth century, in describing the Tables of the Law written by the 
finger of God, divides all productions into two general orders: products of Nature and products of art. God works through 
Nature and man through art, he asserts in his Guide for the Perplexed. Thus the Word of the Lord is the hand, or active 
principle, by which the will of the Creator is traced upon the face of His creation. The Tannaim, or initiates of the Jewish 
Mystery School, alone possessed a complete understanding of the significance of the Ten Commandments. These laws are 
esoterically related to the ten degrees of contemplation constituting the Path of Ecstasy, which winds upward through he 
four worlds and ends in the effulgence of AIN SOPH. 

P- 99 

My House be established. "In the splendor of mental and spiritual illumination, the High Priest stood 
between the pillars as a mute witness to the perfect virtue of equilibrium—that hypothetical point 
equidistant from all extremes. He thus personified the divine nature of man in the midst of his 
compound constitution— the mysterious Pythagorean Monad in the presence of the Duad. On one side 
towered the stupendous column of the intellect; on the other, the brazen pillar of the flesh. Midway 
between these two stands the glorified wise man, but he cannot reach this high estate without first 
suffering upon the cross made by joining these pillars together. The early Jews occasionally 
represented the two pillars, Jachin and Boaz, as the legs of Jehovah, thereby signifying to the modern 
philosopher that Wisdom and Love, in their most exalted sense, support the whole order of creation— 
both mundane and supermundane. 


Like the sapphire Schethiya, the Lapis Exilis, crown jewel of the Archangel Lucifer, fell from heaven. 
Michael, archangel of the sun and the Hidden God of Israel, at the head of the angelic hosts swooped 
down upon Lucifer and his legions of rebellious spirits. During the conflict, Michael with his flaming 
sword struck the flashing Lapis Exilis from the coronet of his adversary, and the green stone fell 
through all the celestial rings into the dark and immeasurable Abyss. Out of Lucifer's radiant gem was 
fashioned the Sangreal, or Holy Grail, from which Christ is said to have drunk at the Last Supper. 

Though some controversy exists as to whether the Grail was a cup or a platter, it is generally depicted 
in art as a chalice of considerable size and unusual beauty. According to the legend, Joseph of 
Arimathea brought the Grail Cup to the place of the crucifixion and in it caught the blood pouring 
from the wounds of the dying Nazarene. Later Joseph, who had become custodian of the sacred 
relics—the Sangreal and the Spear of Longinus— carried them into a distant country. According to one 
version, his descendants finally placed these relics in Glastonbury Abbey in England; according to 
another, in a wonderful castle on Mount Salvat, Spain, built by angels in a single night. Under the 
name of Preston John, Parsifal, the last of the Grail Kings, carried the Holy Cup with him into India, 
and it disappeared forever from the Western World. Subsequent search for the Sangreal was the motif 
for much of the knight errantry of the Arthurian legends and the ceremonials of the Round Table. 
(See the Morte d' Arthur.) 

No adequate interpretation has ever been given to the Grail Mysteries. Some believe the Knights of 
the Holy Grail to have been a powerful organization of Christian mystics perpetuating the Ancient 
Wisdom under the rituals and sacraments of the oracular Cup. The quest for the Holy Grail is the 
eternal search for truth, and Albert G. Mackey sees in it a variation of the Masonic legend of the Lost 
Word so long sought by the brethren of the Craft. There is also evidence to support the claim that the 
story of the Grail is an elaboration of an early pagan Nature myth which has been preserved by reason 
of the subtle manner in which it was engrafted upon the cult of Christianity. From this particular 
viewpoint, the Holy Grail is undoubtedly a type of the ark or vessel in which the life of the world is 
preserved and therefore is significant of the body of the Great Mother— Nature. Its green color relates 
it to Venus and to the mystery of generation; also to the Islamic faith, whose sacred color is green and 
whose Sabbath is Friday, the day of Venus. 

The Holy Grail is a symbol both of the lower (or irrational) world and of the bodily nature of man, 
because both are receptacles for the living essences of the superior worlds. Such is the mystery of the 
redeeming blood which, descending into the condition of death, overcomes the last enemy by 
ensouling all substance with its own immortality. To the Christian, whose mystic faith especially 
emphasizes the love element, the Holy Grail typifies the heart in which continually swirls the living 
water of eternal life. Moreover, to the Christian, the search for the Holy Grail is the search for the real 
Self which, when found, is the consummation of the magnum opus. 

The Holy Cup can be discovered only by those who have raised themselves above the limitations of 
sensuous existence. In his mystic poem, The Vision of Sir Launfal, James Russell Lowell discloses the 
true nature of the Holy Grail by showing that it is visible only to a certain state of spiritual 
consciousness. Only upon returning from the vain pursuit of haughty ambition did the aged and 
broken knight see in the transformed leper's cup the glowing chalice of his lifelong dream. Some 
writers trace a similarity between the Grail legend and the stories of the martyred Sun Gods whose 
blood, descending from heaven into the earth, was caught in the cup of matter and liberated 
therefrom by the initiatory rites. The Holy Grail may also be the seed pod so frequently employed in 
the ancient Mysteries as an emblem of germination and resurrection; and if the cuplike shape of the 
Grail be derived from the flower, it signifies the regeneration and spiritualization of the generative 
forces in man. 

There are many accounts of stone images which, because of the substances entering into their 
composition and the ceremonials attendant upon their construction, were ensouled by the divinities 
whom they were created to resemble. To such images were ascribed various human faculties and 
powers, such as speech, thought, and even motion. While renegade priests doubtless resorted to 
trickery—an instance of which is related in a curious apocryphal fragment entitled Bel and the 
Dragon and supposedly deleted from the end of the Book of Daniel— many of the phenomena 
recorded in connection with sanctified statues and relics can hardly be explained unless the work of 
supernatural agencies be admitted. 

History records the existence of stones which, when struck, threw all who heard the sound into a state 
of ecstasy. There were also echoing images which whispered for hours after the room itself had 
become silent, and musical stones productive of the sweetest harmonies. In recognition of the 
sanctity which the Greeks and Latins ascribed to stones, they placed their hands upon certain 
consecrated pillars when taking an oath. In ancient times stones played a part in determining the fate 
of accused persons, for it was customary for juries to reach their verdicts by dropping pebbles into a 

Divination by stones was often resorted to by the Greeks, and Helena is said to have foretold by 
lithomancy the destruction of Troy. Many popular superstitions about stones survive the so-called 
Dark Ages. Chief among these is the one concerning the famous black stone in the seat of the 
coronation chair in Westminster Abbey, which is declared to be the actual rock used by Jacob as a 
pillow. The black stone also appears several times in religious symbolism. It was called Heliogabalus, 
a word presumably derived from Elagabal, the Syro-Phoenician sun god. This stone was sacred to the 
sun and declared to possess great and diversified properties. The black stone in the Caaba at Mecca is 
still revered throughout the Mohammedan world. It is said to have been white originally and of such 
brillianq'^ that it could be seen many days' journey from Mecca, but as ages passed it became 
blackened by the tears of pilgrims and the sins of the world. 


According to the teachings of the Mysteries, the rays of the celestial bodies, striking the crystallizing 
influences of the lower world, become the various elements. Partaking of the astral virtues of their 
source, these elements neutralize certain unbalanced forms of celestial activity and, when properly 

combined, contribute much to the well-being of man. Little is known today concerning these magical 

properties, but the modern world may yet find it profitable to consider the findings of the early 
philosophers who determined these relationships by extensive experimentation. Out of such research 
arose the practice of identifying the metals with the bones of the various deities. For example, the 
Egyptians, according to Manetho, considered iron to be the bone of Mars and the lodestone the bone 
of Horus. By analogy, lead would be the physical skeleton of Saturn, copper of Venus, quicksilver of 
Mercury, gold of the sun, silver of the moon, and antimony of the earth. It is possible that uranium 


From Christie's Disquisitions upon the Painted Greek Vases. 

The Primitive custom of worshiping the gods in the form of heaps of stones gave place to the practice of erecting phaUic 
pillars, or cones, in their honor. These columns differed widely in size and appearance. Some were of gigantic proportions 
and were richly ornamented with inscriptions or likenesses of the gods and heroes; others—like the votive offerings of the 
Babylonians—were but a few inches high, without ornament, and merely bore a brief statement of the purpose for which 
they had been prepared or a hymn to the god of the temple in which they were placed. These small baked clay cones were 
identical in their symbolic meaning with the large hermse set up by the roadside and in other public places. Later the 
upper end of the column was surmounted by a human head. Often two projections, or tenons, corresponding to shoulders 
were placed, one on either side, to support the wreaths of flowers adorning the columns. Offerings, usually of food, were 
placed near the hermse. Occasionally these columns were used to uphold roofs and were numbered among the art objects 
ornamenting the villas of wealthy Romans. 

p. 100 

will prove to be the metal of Uranus and radium to be the metal of Neptune. 

The four Ages of the Greek mystics— the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron 
Age—are metaphoric expressions referring to the four major periods in the life of all things. In the 
divisions of the day they signify dawn, midday, sunset, and midnight; in the duration of gods, men, 
and universes, they denote the periods of birth, growth, maturity, and decay. The Greek Ages also 
bear a close correspondence to the four Yugas of the Hindus: Krita-Yuga, Treta-Yuga, Dvapara- 
Yuga, and Kali-Yuga. Their method of calculation is described by UUamudeian as follows: "In each of 
the 12 signs there are 1800 minutes; multiply this number by 12 you have 21600; e.g. 1800 X 
12=21600. Multiply this 21600 by 80 and it will give 1,728,000, which is the duration of the first age, 
called Krita-Yuga. If the same number be multiplied by 60, it will give 1,296,000, the years of the 
second age, Treta-Yuga. The same number multiplied by 40 gives 864,000, the length of the third 

age, Dvapara-Yuga. The same multiplied by 20 gives 432,000, the fourth age, Kali-Yuga." (It will be 
noted that these multipliers decrease in inverse ratio to the Pjlihagorean tetractys: 1, 2, 3, and 4.) 

H. P. Blavatsky declares that Orpheus taught his followers how to affect a whole audience by means of 
a lodestone, and that Pjlihagoras paid particular attention to the color and nature of precious stones. 
She adds: "The Buddhists assert that the sapphire produces peace of mind, equanimity, and chases all 
evil thoughts by establishing a healthy circulation in man. So does an electric battery, with its well- 
directed fluid, say our electricians. 'The sapphire,' say the Buddhists, 'will open barred doors and 
dwellings (for the spirit of man); it produces a desire for prayer, and brings with it more peace than 
any other gem; but he who would wear it must lead a pure and holy life.'" (See Isis Unveiled.) 

Mythology abounds with accounts of magical rings and talismanic jewels. In the second book of his 
Republic, Plato describes a ring which, when the collet was turned in ward, rendered its wearer 
invisible. With this Gyges, the shepherd, secured for himself the throne of Lydia. Josephus also 
describes magical rings designed by Moses and King Solomon, and Aristotle mentions one which 
brought love and honor to its possessor. In his chapter dealing with the subject, Henry Cornelius 
Agrippa not only mentions the same rings, but states, upon the authority of Philostratus Jarchus, that 
Apollonius of Tyana extended his life to over 20 years with the aid of seven magical rings presented to 
him by an East Indian prince. Each of these seven rings was set with a gem partaking of the nature of 
one of the seven ruling planets of the week, and by daily changing the rings Apollonius protected 
himself against sickness and death by the intervention of the planetary influences. The philosopher 
also instructed his disciples in the virtues of these talismanic jewels, considering such information to 
be indispensable to the theurgist. Agrippa describes the preparation of magical rings as follows: 
"When any Star [planet] ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect or conjunction of the Moon, 
we must take a stone and herb that is under that Star, and make a ring of the metal that is suitable to 
this Star, and in it fasten the stone, putting the herb or root under it-not omitting the inscriptions of 
images, names, and characters, as also the proper suffamigations." (See Three Books of Occult 

The ring has long been regarded as the symbol of attainment, perfection, and immortality-the last 
because the circlet of precious metal had neither beginning nor end. In the Mysteries, rings chased to 
resemble a serpent with its tail in its mouth were worn by the initiates as material evidence of the 
position reached by them in the order. Signet rings, engraved with certain secret emblems, were worn 
by the hierophants, and it was not uncommon for a messenger to prove that he was the official 
representative of a prince or other dignitary by bringing with his message either an impression from 
his master's ring or the signet itself. The wedding ring originally was intended to imply that in the 
nature of the one who wore it the state of equilibrium and completion had been attained. This plain 
band of gold therefore bore witness of the union of the Higher Self (God) with the lower self (Nature) 
and the ceremony consummating this indissoluble blending of Divinity and humanity in the one 
nature of the initiated mystic constituted the hermetic marriage of the Mysteries. 

In describing the regalia of a magician, Eliphas Levi declares that on Sunday (the day of the sun) he 
should carry in his right hand a golden wand, set with a ruby or chrysolite; on Monday (the day of the 
moon) he should wear a collar of three strands consisting of pearls, crystals, and selenites; on 
Tuesday (the day of Mars) he should carry a wand of magnetized steel and a ring of the same metal 
set with an amethyst, on Wednesday (the day of Mercury) he should wear a necklace of pearls or glass 
beads containing mercury, and a ring set with an agate; on Thursday (the day of Jupiter) he should 
carry a wand of glass or resin and wear a ring set with an emerald or a sapphire; on Friday (the day of 
Venus) he should carry a wand of polished copper and wear a ring set with a turquoise and a crown or 
diadem decorated with lapis lazuli and beryl; and on Saturday (the day of Saturn) he should carry a 
wand ornamented with onyx stone and wear a ring set with onyx and a chain about the neck formed 
of lead. (See The Magical Ritiial of the Sanctum Regnum.) 

Paracelsus, Agrippa, Kircher, Lilly, and numerous other magicians and astrologers have tabulated the 

gems and stones corresponding to the various planets and zodiacal signs. The following list has been 
compiled from their writings. To the sun is assigned the carbuncle, ruby, garnet — especially the 
pyrope~and other fiery stones, sometimes the diamond; to the moon, the pearl, selenite, and other 
forms of crystal; to Saturn, the onyx, jasper, topaz, and sometimes the lapis lazuli; to Jupiter, the 
sapphire, emerald, and marble; to Mars, the amethyst, hyacinth, lodestone, sometimes the diamond; 
to Venus, the turquoise, beryl, emerald, and sometimes the pearl, alabaster, coral, and carnelian; to 
Mercury, the chrysolite, agate, and variegated marble. 

To the zodiac the same authorities assigned the following gems and stones: To Aries the sardonyx, 
bloodstone, amethyst, and diamond; to Taurus the carnelian, turquoise, hyacinth, sapphire, moss 
agate, and emerald; to Gemini the topaz, agate, chrysoprase, crystal, and aquamarine; to Cancer the 
topaz, chalcedony, black onyx, moonstone, pearl, cat's-eye, crystal, and sometimes the emerald; to 
Leo the jasper, sardonyx, beryl, ruby, chrysolite, amber, tourmaline, sometimes the diamond; to Virgo 
the emerald, camelian, jade, chrysolite, and sometimes the pink jasper and hyacinth; to Libra the 
beryl, sardius, coral, lapis lazuli, opal, and sometimes the diamond; to Scorpio the amethyst, beryl, 
sardonyx, aquamarine, carbuncle, lodestone, topaz, and malachite; to Sagittarius die hyacinth, topaz, 
chrysolite, emerald, carbuncle, and turquoise; to Capricorn the chrysoprase, ruby, malachite, black 
onyx, white onyx, jet, and moonstone; to Aquarius the crystal, sapphire, garnet, zircon, and opal; to 
Pisces the sapphire, jasper, chrysolite, moonstone, and amethyst 

Both the magic mirror and the crystal ball are symbols little understood. Woe to that benighted 
mortal who accepts literally the stories circulated concerning them! He will discover—often at the cost 
of sanity and health—that sorcery and philosophy, while often confused, have nothing in common. 
The Persian Magi carried mirrors as an emblem of the material sphere which reflects Divinity from its 
every part. The crystal ball, long misused as a medium for the cultivation of psychical powers, is a 
threefold symbol: (i) it signifies the crystalline Universal Egg in whose transparent depths creation 
exists; (2) it is a proper figure of Deity previous to Its immersion in matter; (3) it signifies the setheric 
sphere of the world in whose translucent essences is impressed and preserved the perfect image of all 
terrestrial activity. 

Meteors, or rocks from heaven, were considered tokens of divine favor and enshrined as evidence of a 
pact between the gods and the community in which they fell. Curiously marked or chipped natural 
stones are occasionally found. In China there is a slab of marble the grain of which forms a perfect 
likeness of the Chinese dragon. The Oberammergau stone, chipped by Nature into a close 
resemblance to the popular conception of the face of Christ, is so remarkable that even the crowned 
heads of Europe requested the privilege of beholding it. Stones of such nature were held in the highest 
esteem among primitive peoples and even today exert a wide influence upon the religiously-minded. 


From Cartari's Imagini degli Dei degli Antichi. 

The number five was peculiarly associated by the Pythagoreans with the art of healing, and the pentagram, or five-pointed 
star, was to them the symbol of health. The above figure represents a magical ring set with a talismanic gem bearing the 
pentalpha, or star formed by five different positions of the Greek Alpha. On this subject Mackey writes: "The disciples of 
Pythagoras, who were indeed its real inventors, placed within each of its interior angles one of the letters of the Greek 
word YFEIA, or the Latin one SALUS, both of which signify health; and thus it was made the talisman of health. They 
placed it at the beginning of their epistles as a greeting to invoke a secure health to their correspondent. But its use was 
not confined to the disciples of Pythagoras. As a talisman, it was employed all over the East as a charm to resist evil 

p. 101 


CEREMONIAL magic is the ancient art of invoking and controlling spirits by a scientific application 
of certain formulge. A magician, enveloped in sanctified vestments and carrying a wand inscribed with 
hieroglyphic figures, could by the power vested in certain words and symbols control the invisible 
inhabitants of the elements and of the astral world. While the elaborate ceremonial magic of antiquity 
was not necessarily evil, there arose from its perversion several false schools of sorcery, or black 

Egypt, a great center of learning and the birthplace of many arts and sciences, furnished an ideal 
environment for transcendental experimentation. Here the black magicians of Atlantis continued to 
exercise their superhuman powers until they had completely undermined and corrupted the morals of 
the primitive Mysteries. By establishing a sacerdotal caste they usurped the position formerly 
occupied by the initiates, and seized the reins of spiritual government. Thus black magic dictated the 
state religion and paralyzed the intellectual and spiritual activities of the individual by demanding his 
complete and unhesitating acquiescence in the dogma formulated by the priestcraft. The Pharaoh 
became a puppet in the hands of the Scarlet Council—a committee of arch-sorcerers elevated to power 
by the priesthood. 

These sorcerers then began the systematic destruction of all keys to the ancient wisdom, so that none 
might have access to the knowledge necessary to reach adeptship without first becoming one of their 
order. They mutilated the rituals of the Mysteries while professing to preserve them, so that even 
though the neophyte passed through the degrees he could not secure the knowledge to which he was 
entitled. Idolatry was introduced by encouraging the worship of the images which in the beginning 
the wise had erected solely as symbols for study and meditation. False interpretations were given to 
the emblems and figures of the Mysteries, and elaborate theologies were created to confuse the minds 
of their devotees. The masses, deprived of their birthright of understanding and groveling in 
ignorance, eventually became the abject slaves of the spiritual impostors. Superstition universally 
prevailed and the black magicians completely dominated national affairs, with the result that 
humanity still suffers from the sophistries of the priestcrafts of Atlantis and Egypt. 

Fully convinced that their Scriptures sanctioned it, numerous mediaeval Qabbalists devoted their lives 
to the practice of ceremonial magic. The transcendentalism of the Qabbalists is founded upon the 
ancient and magical formula of King Solomon, who has long been considered by the Jews as the 
prince of ceremonial magicians. 

Among the Qabbalists of the Middle Ages were a great number of black magicians who strayed from 
the noble concepts of the Sepher Yetzirah and became enmeshed in demonism and witchcraft. They 
sought to substitute magic mirrors, consecrated daggers, and circles spread around posts of coffin 
nails, for the living of that virtuous life which, without the assistance of complicated rituals or 
submundane creatures, unfailingly brings man to the state of true individual completion. 

Those who sought to control elemental spirits through ceremonial magic did so largely with the hope 
of securing from the invisible worlds either rare knowledge or supernatural power. The little red 
demon of Napoleon Bonaparte and the infamous oracular heads of de Medici are examples of the 
disastrous results of permitting elemental beings to dictate the course of human procedure. While the 
learned and godlike daemon of Socrates seems to have been an exception, this really proves that the 
intellectual and moral status of the magician has much to do with the type of elemental he is capable 
of invoking. But even the daemon of Socrates deserted the philosopher when the sentence of death 
was passed. 

Transcendentalism and all forms of phenomenalistic magic are but blind alleys—outgrowths of 

Atlantean sorcery; and those who forsake the straight path of philosophy to wander therein almost 
invariably fall victims to their imprudence. Man, incapable of controlling his own appetites, is not 
equal to the task of governing the fiery and tempestuous elemental spirits. 

Many a magician has lost his life as the result of opening a way whereby submundane creatures could 
become active participants in his affairs. When Eliphas Levi invoked the spirit of Apollonius of Tyana, 
what did he hope to accomplish? Is the gratification of curiosity a motive sufficient to warrant the 
devotion of an entire lifetime to a dangerous and unprofitable pursuit? If the living Apollonius 
refused to divulge his secrets to the profane, is there any probability that after death he would 
disclose them to the curious-minded? Levi himself did not dare to assert that the specter which 
appeared to him was actually the great philosopher, for Levi realized only too well the proclivity of 
elementals to impersonate those who have passed on. The majority of modem mediumistic 
apparitions are but elemental creatures masquerading through bodies composed of thought 
substance supplied by the very persons desiring to behold these wraiths of decarnate beings. 


Some understanding of the intricate theory and practice of ceremonial magic may be derived from a 
brief consideration of its underlying premises. 

First. The visible universe has an invisible counterpart, the higher planes of which are peopled by 
good and beautiful spirits; the lower planes, dark and foreboding, are the habitation of evil spirits and 
demons under the leadership of the Fallen Angel and his ten Princes. 

Second. By means of the secret processes of ceremonial magic it is possible to contact these invisible 
creatures and gain their help in some human undertaking. Good spirits willingly lend their assistance 
to any worthy enterprise, but the evil spirits serve only those who live to pervert and destroy. 

Third. It is possible to make contracts with spirits whereby the magician becomes for a stipulated 
time the master of an elemental being. 

Fourth. True black magic is performed with the aid of a demoniacal spirit, who serves the sorcerer for 
the length of his earthly life, with the understanding that after death the magician shall become the 
servant of his own demon. For this reason a black magician will go to inconceivable ends to prolong 
his physical life, since there is nothing for him beyond the grave. 

The most dangerous form of black magic is the scientific perversion of occult power for the 
gratification of personal desire. Its less complex and more universal form is human selfishness, for 
selfishness is the fundamental cause of all worldly evil. A man will barter his eternal soul for temporal 
power, and down through the ages a mysterious process has been evolved which actually enables him 
to make this exchange. In its various branches the black art includes nearly all forms of ceremonial 
magic, necromanqr, witchcraft, sorcery, and vampirism. Under the same general heading are also 
included mesmerism and hypnotism, except when used solely for medical purposes, and even then 
there is an element of risk for all concerned. 

Though the demonism of the Middle Ages seems to have disappeared, there is abundant evidence that 
in many forms of modern thought—especially the so-called "prosperity" psychology, "willpower- 
building" metaphysics, and systems of "high-pressure" salesmanship— 


From Levi's Transcendental Magic. 

The practice of magic—either white or black— depends upon the abihty of the adept to control the universal life force—that 
which Eliphas Levi calls the great magical agent or the astral light. By the manipulation of this fluidic essence the 
phenomena of transcendentalism are produced. The famous hermaphroditic Goat of Mendes was a composite creature 
formulated to symbolize this astral light. It is identical with Baphomet the mystic pantheos of those disciples of 
ceremonial magic, the Templars, who probably obtained it from the Arabians. 

p. 102 

black magic has merely passed through a metamorphosis, and although its name be changed its 
nature remains the same. 

A well-known magician of the Middle Ages was Dr. Johannes Faustus, more commonly known as Dr. 
Faust. By a study of magical writings he was enabled to bind to his service an elemental who served 
him for many years in various capacities. Strange legends are told concerning the magical powers 
possessed by Dr. Faust. Upon one occasion the philosopher, being apparently in a playful mood, 
threw his mantle over a number of eggs in a market-woman's basket, causing them to hatch instantly. 
At another time, having fallen overboard from a small boat, he was picked up and returned to the 
craft v^th his clothes still dry. But, like nearly all other magicians. Dr. Faust came at length to disaster; 
he was found one morning with a knife in his back, and it was commonly believed that his familiar 
spirit had murdered him. Although Goethe's Dr. Faust is generally regarded as merely a fictional 
character, this old magician actually lived during the sixteenth century. Dr. Faust wrote a book 
describing his experiences with spirits, a section of which is reprinted below. (Dr. Faust must not be 
confused with Johann Fust, the printer.) 


(An abridged translation from the original German of a book ordered destroyed.) 

"From my youth I followed art and science and was tireless in my reading of books. Among those 
which came to my hand was a volume containing all kinds of invocations and magical formulae. In 
this book I discovered information to the effect that a spirit, whether he be of the fire, the water, the 
earth or the air, can be compelled to do the will of a magician capable of controlling him. I also 
discovered that according as one spirit has more power than another, each is adapted for a different 
operation and each is capable of producing certain supernatural effects. 

"After reading this wonderful book, I made several experiments, desiring to rest the accuracy of the 
statements made therein. At first I had little faith that what was promised would take place. But at the 
very first invocation which I attempted a mighty spirit manifested to me, desiring to know why I had 
invoked him. His coming so amazed me that I scarcely knew what to say, but finally asked him if he 
would serve me in my magical investigations. He replied that if certain conditions were agreed upon 
he would. The conditions were that I should make a pact with him. This I did not desire to do, but as 
in my ignorance I had not protected myself with a circle and was actually at the merqr of the spirit, I 
did not dare to refuse his request and resigned myself to the inevitable, considering it wisest to turn 
my mantle according to the wind. 

"I then told him that if he would be serviceable to me according to my desires and needs for a certain 
length of time, I would sign myself over to him. After the pact had been arranged, this mighty spirit, 
whose name was Asteroth, introduced me to another spirit by the name of Marbuel, who was 
appointed to be my servant. I questioned Marbuel as to his suitability for my needs. I asked him how 
quick he was, and he answered, 'As swift as the winds.' This did not satisfy me, so I replied, 'You 
cannot become my servant. Go again whence you have come.' Soon another spirit manifested itself, 
whose name was Aniguel. Upon asking him the same question he answered that he was swift as a bird 
in the air. I said, 'You are still too slow for me. Go whence you came.' In the same moment another 
spirit by the name of Aciel manifested himself. For the third time I asked my question and he 
answered, 'I am as swift as human thought.' 'You shall serve me,' I replied. This spirit was faithful for 
a long time, but to tell you how he served me is not possible in a document of this length and I will 
here only indicate how spirits are to be invoked and how the circles for protection are to be prepared. 
There are many kinds of spirits which will permit themselves to be invoked by man and become his 
servant. Of these I will list a few: 

"Aciel: The mightiest among those who serve men. He manifests in pleasing human form about three 
feet high. He must be invoked three times before he will come forth into the circle prepared for him. 
He will furnish riches and will instantly fetch things from a great distance, according to the will of the 
magician. He is as swift as human thought. 

"Aniguel: Serviceable and most useful, and comes in the form of a ten-year-old boy. He must be 
invoked three times. His special power is to discover treasures and minerals hidden in the ground, 
which he will furnish to the magician. 

"Marbuel: A true lord of the mountains and swift as a bird on the wing. He is an opposing and 
troublesome spirit, hard to control. You must invoke him four times. He appears in the person of 
Mars [a warrior in heavy armor]. He will furnish the magician those things which grow above and 
under the earth. He is particularly the lord of the spring-root. [The spring-root is a mysterious herb, 
possibly of a reddish color, which medigeval magicians asserted had the property of drawing forth or 
opening anything it touched. If placed against a locked door, it would open the door. The Hermetists 
believed that the red-capped woodpecker was specially endowed with the faculty of discovering 
spring-root, so they followed this bird to its nest, and then stopped up the hole in the tree where its 

young were. The red-crested woodpecker went at once in quest of the spring-root, and, discovering it, 
brought it to the tree. It immediately drew forth the stopper from the entrance to the nest. The 
magician then secured the root from the bird. It was also asserted that because of its structure, the 
etheric body of the spring-root was utilized as a vehicle of expression by certain elemental spirits 
which manifested through the proclivity of drawing out or opening things.] 

"Aciebel: A mighty ruler of the sea, controlling things both upon and under the water. He furnishes 
things lost or sunk in rivers, lakes, and oceans, such as sunken ships and treasures. The more sharply 
you invoke him, the swifter he is upon his errands. 

"Machiel: Comes in the form of a beautiful maiden and by her aid the magician is raised to honor and 
dignity. She makes those she serves worthy and noble, gracious and kindly, and assists in all matters 
of litigation and justice. She will not come unless invoked twice. 

"Baruel: The master of all arts. He manifests as a master workman and comes wearing an apron. He 
can teach a magician more in a moment than all the master workmen of the world combined could 
accomplish in twenty years. He must be invoked three times. 

"These are the spirits most serviceable to man, but there are numerous others which, for lack of space, 
I am unable to describe. Now, if you desire the aid of the spirit to get this or that, then you must first 
draw the sign of the spirit whom you desire to invoke. The drawing must be made just in front of a 
circle made before sunrise, in which you and your assistants will stand. If you desire financial 
assistance, then you must invoke the spirit AczeZ. Draw his sign in front of the circle. If you need other 
things, then draw the sign of the spirit capable of furnishing them. On the place where you intend to 
make the circle, you must first draw a great cross with a large sword with which no one ever has been 
hurt. Then you must make three concentric circles. The innermost circle is made of a 

Eliphas Levi describes the preparation of a magical sword in substance as follows: The steel blade should be forged in the 
hour of Mars, with new tools. The pommel should be of hollow silver containing quicksilver, and the symbols of Mercury 
and the moon and the signatures of Gabriel and Samael should be engraved upon it. The hilt should be encased with tin, 
with the symbol of Jupiter and the signature of Michael engraved upon it. A copper triangle should extend from the hilt 
along the blade a short distance on each side: these should bear the symbols of Mercury and Venus. Five Sephiroth should 
be engraved upon the handle, as shown. The blade itself should have the word Malchut upon one side and Quis ut Deus 
upon the other. The sword should be consecrated on Sunday. 


From Levi's The Magical Ritual. 


From The Complete Book of Magic Science (unpublished). 

The above figure is a complete and faithful representation of a magic circle as designed by mediaeval conjurers for the 
invocation of spirits. The magician accompanied by his assistant takes his place at the point formed by the crossing of the 
central lines marked MAGISTER. The words about the circle are the names of the invisible intelligences, and the small 
crosses mark points at which certain prayers and invocations are recited. The small circle outside is prepared for the spirit 
to be invoked, and while in use has the signature of the desired intelligence traced within the triangle. 

p. 103 

long narrow strip of virgin parchment and must be hung upon twelve crosses made of the wood of 
cross-thorn. Upon the parchment you must write the names and symbols according to the figure 
which follows. Outside this first circle make the second as follows: 

"First secure a thread of red silk that has been spun or twisted to the left instead of the right. Then 
place in the ground twelve crosses made of laurel leaves, and also prepare a long strip of new white 
paper. Write with an unused pen the characters and symbols as seen on the second circle. Wind this 
latter strip of paper around v^th the red silken thread and pin them upon the twelve crosses of laurel 
leaves. Outside this second circle make a third one which is also of virgin parchment and pinned upon 
twelve crosses of consecrated palm. When you have made these three circles, retire into them until at 
last you stand in the center upon a pentagram drawn in the midst of the great cross first drawn. Now, 
to insure success, do everything according to the description, and when you have read off the sacred 
invocation pronounce the name of the spirit which you desire to appear. It is essential that you 
pronounce the name very distinctly. You must also note the day and the hour, for each spirit can only 
be invoked at certain times." 

While the black magician at the time of signing his pact with the elemental demon maybe fully 
convinced that he is strong enough to control indefinitely the powers placed at his disposal, he is 
speedily undeceived. Before many years elapse he must turn all his energies to the problem of self- 
preservation. A world of horrors to which he has attuned himself by his own covetousness looms 
nearer every day, until he exists upon the edge of a seething maelstrom, expecting momentarily to be 
sucked down into its turbid depths. Afraid to die—because he will become the servant of his own 
demon—the magician commits crime after crime to prolong his wretched earthly existence. Realizing 
that life is maintained by the aid of a mysterious universal life force which is the common property of 
all creatures, the black magician often becomes an occult vampire, stealing this energy from others. 
According to medieeval superstition, black magicians turned themselves into werewolves and roamed 
the earth at night, attacking defenseless victims for the life force contained in their blood. 


The following condensed extract from an ancient manuscript is reproduced herewith as 
representative of the ritualism of ceremonial magic. The extract is from The Complete Book of Magic 
Science, an unpublished manuscript (original in the British Museum), with pentacles in colors, 
mentioned by Francis Barrett in his Magus. 

"Opening Prayer 

"Omnipotent and Eternal God who hath ordained the whole creation for thy praise and glory and for 
the salvation of man, I earnestly beseech thee that thou wouldst send one of thy spirits of the order of 
Jupiter, one of the messengers of Zadkiel whom thou hast appointed governor of thy firmament at 
the present time, most faithfully, willingly, and readily to show me these things which I shall ask, 
command or require of him, and truly execute my desires. Nevertheless, O Most Holy God, thy will 
and not mine be done through JC, thine only begotten Son our Lord. Amen. 

"The Invocation. 

[The magician, having properly consecrated his vestments and utensils and being protected by his 
circle, now calls upon the spirits to appear and accede to his demands.] 

"Spirits, whose assistance I require, behold the sign and the very Hallowed Names of God full of 
power. Obey the power of this our pentacle; go out your hidden caves and dark places; cease your 
hurtful occupations to those unhappy mortals whom without ceasing you torment; come into this 
place where the Divine Goodness has assembled us; be attentive to our orders and known to our just 
demands; believe not that your resistance will cause us to abandon our operations. Nothing can 
dispense with your obeying us. We command you by the Mysterious Names Elohe Agla Elohim 
Adonay Gibort. Amen. 

"I call upon thee, Zadkiel, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, blessed 
Trinity, unspeakable Unity. 

"I invoke and intreat thee, Zadkiel, in this hour to attend to the words and conjurations which I shall 
use this day by the Holy Names of God Elohe El Elohim Elion Zebaoth Escerehie lah Adonay 

"I conjure thee, I exorcise thee, thou Spirit Zadkiel, by these Holy Names Hagios O Theos Iscyros 
Athanatos Paracletus Agla on Alpha et Omega lothAglanbrothAbielAnathiel Tetragrammaton: 
And by all other great and glorious, holy and unspeakable, mysterious, mighty, powerful, 
incomprehensible Names of God, that you attend unto the words of my mouth, and send unto me 

Pabiel or other of your ministering, serving Spirits, who may show me such things as I shall demand 
of him in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 

"I intreat thee, Pabiel, by the whole Spirit of Heaven, Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, 
Witnesses, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels, by the holy, great, and glorious Angels 
Orphaniel Tetra-Dagiel Salamla Acimoy pastor poti, that thou come forthwith, readily show thyself 
that we may see you and audibly hear you, speak unto us and fulfil our desires, and by your star which 
is Jupiter, and by all the constellations of Heaven, and by whatsoever you obey, and by your character 
which you have given, proposed, and confirmed, that you attend unto me according to the prayer and 
petitions which I have made unto Almighty God, and that you forthwith send me one of your 
ministering Spirits, who may willingly, truly, and faithfully fulfil all my desires, and that you 
command him to appear unto me in the form of a beautiful Angel, gently, courteously, affably, and 
meekly, entering into communication with me, and that he neither permitting any evil Spirit to 
approach in any sort of hurt, terrify or affright me in any way nor deceiving me in any wise. Through 
the virtue of Our Lord JC, in whose Name I attend, wait for, and expect thy appearance. Fiat, fiat, fiat. 
Amen, Amen, Amen. 


[Having summoned the spirit unto his presence, the magician shall question him as follows:] 

'"Comest thou in peace in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost?' [And the 
spirit shall answer:] 'Yes.' 

'"Thou art welcome, noble Spirit. What is thy Name?' [And the spirit shall answer:] 'PabieV 

'"I have called thee in the Name of Jesu of Nazareth at whose Name every knee doth bow in heaven, 
earth, and hell, and every tongue shall confess there is no name like unto the Name of Jesus, who 
hath given power unto man to bind and to loose all things in his most Holy Name, yea even unto 
those that trust in his salvation. 

'"Art thou the messenger of Zadkiel?' [And the spirit shall answer:] 'Yes.' 

'"Wilt thou confirm thyself unto me at this time and henceforth reveal all things unto me that I shall 
desire to know, and teach me how I may increase in wisdom and knowledge and show unto me all the 
secrets of the Magic Art, and of all liberal sciences, that I may thereby set forth the glory of Almighty 
God?' [And the spirit shall answer:] 'Yes.' 

'"Then I pray thee give and confirm thy character unto me whereby I may call thee at all times, and 
also swear unto me this oath and I will religiously keep my vow and covenant unto Almighty God and 
will courteously receive thee at all times where thou dost appear unto me.' 

"License to Depart. 

'"Forasmuch as thou comest in peace and quietness and hath answered 


From Levi's Transcendental Magic. 

THE PENTAGRAM. The pentagram is the figure of the microcosm—the magical formula of man. It is the one rising out of 
the four—the human soul rising from the bondage of the animal nature. It is the true light— the "Star of the morning." It 
marks the location of five mysterious centers of force, the awakening of which is the supreme secret of white magic. 

Stivm of ^onl) of §b}?inti &i\itn in 1573. 

nlfnff ^lE(t4( JflljiUtT, ^(cintt)) ttttiimlntF l^t CicatK BfaU tfylnit 
bttait IWitBiU^ ^Utia, pam\Me, aiib ptl^t Wig. 1att| fllA Mtl 

tmt« t|f(«fnCkt ||^ttnitanitlKtiim i^tDRKt niFf flirtrtt* iiMcmtjanp 
ttd bHt 4( l^fSbrn, ant if all tte 1»tdp Hawti dt 49Ata lii ffboitr trtifr 

Snnmuilsn. S^arb, a nli ISmcrlirti, tip Ijie ftCEUTErccijiri nnii giDifgutf ^t- 
URsUn cf all t^t (lalp ^AnriTninttf, bp tritfncrcpDr^eti. l^t 

Olsrp »f 3r»pis fll 11>tititH, bp (ItE (nrjitliEiitBS «C jfin fliitbgFt Jif titrtuil 
)(ai)*itl[Att, fif ttje drtilBAp cF^cji]!. bp sll SngrU, jantfURQeltf, ^era- 
jptlim, Clitrublni, PeminAclsii^, ei^nnictf, llrlnilpslltittf, IJetatrJ. mTi 
VlTluer.AhbAll i[]talt3Er blr^^Eb nnb ijtvtkuri unpsi^xfncBlien.lipaU 
itc iAiu(|eTlitllinMP( Siemtiititi saHigailtift t^aai ^atoiti: BitaTlitiu«, 

at nft Hmif aiilb piBiEr juib in hH ^El,liap*, oiA tatailh^F f niiR Cbff ilm 

(ortiAeJftjntisltP lift'e r;iD bljctfsselter (Ipm sjaCt fjU rntljiJ mf tiimf at 
bp nip □tliLC, ants J tai Lit ia:nC l^i lt)c e in bitiEl farm tbtu BcltEt) tUbl t 

l^ncDC Aitb kl aU tt)t potoKt et %u«rti teihitiif il. 
i^BrailiE unto ttcc Amis. 


From The Complete Book of Magic Science. 

The aforesaid Bond of spirits, together with the seal and character of the planetary angel, must be written m virgin 
Parchment and laid before the Spirit [for signature] when he appears; at that time the invocant must not lost confidence 
but be patient, firm, bold, and Persevering, and take care that he asks nor requires nothing of the Spirit but with a view to 
the glory of God and the well-being fellow creatures. Having obtained his desires of the Spirit, the invocant may license 
him to depart." 

p. 104 

unto my petitions, I give humble and hearty thanks unto Almighty God in whose Name I called and 
thou earnest, and now thou mayest depart in peace unto thine orders and return unto me again at 
what time soever I shall call thee by thine oath, or by thy name or by thine order, or by thine office 
which is granted thee from the Creator, and the power of God be with me and thee and upon the 
whole issue of God, Amen. 

'"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.' 

[Note.] "It would be advisable for the invocant to remain in the circle for a few minutes after reciting 
the license, and if the place of operation be in the open air, let him destroy all traces of the circle, 
etcetera, and return quietly to his home. But should the operation be performed in a retired part of a 
house, cc cetera, the circle may remain, as it might serve in alike future operation, but the room or 
building must be locked up to avoid the intrusion of strangers." 

The agreement set forth above is purely ceremonial magic. In the case of black magic, it is the 
magician and not the demon who must sign the pact. When the black magician binds an elemental to 
his service, a battle of wits ensues, which the demon eventually wins. With his own blood the 
magician signs the pact between himself and the demon, for in the arcanum of magic it is declared 
that "he controls the soul who controls the blood of another." As long as the magician does not fail, 
the elemental will fulfil to the letter his obligation under the pact, but the demon will try in every 
possible way to prevent the magician from carrying out his part of the contract. When the conjurer, 
ensconced within his circle, has evoked the spirit he desires to control and has made known his 
intention, the spirit will answer somewhat as follows: "I cannot accede to your request nor fulfil it, 
unless after fifty years you give yourself to me, body and soul, to do with as I may please." 

If the magician refuses, other terms will be discussed. The spirit may say: "I will remain in your 
service as long as on every Friday morning you will go forth upon the public street giving alms in the 
name of Lucifer. The first time you fail in this you belong to me." 

If the magician still refuses, realizing that the demon will make it impossible for him to fulfil his 
contract, other terms will be discussed, until at last a pact is agreed upon. It may read as follows: "I 
hereby promise the Great Spirit Lucifuge, Prince of Demons, that each year I will bring unto him a 
human soul to do with as it may please him, and in return Lucifuge promises to bestow upon me the 
treasures of the earth and fulfil my every desire for the length of my natural life. If I fail to bring him 

each year the offering specified above, then my own soul shall be forfeit to him. Signed 

" [Invocant signs pact with his own blood.] 


In symbolism, an inverted figure always signifies a perverted power. The average person does not 
even suspect the occult properties of emblematic pentacles. On this subject the great Paracelsus has 
written: "No doubt many will scoff at the seals, their characters and their uses, which are described in 
these books, because it seems incredible to them that metals and characters which are dead should 
have any power and effect. Yet no one has ever proved that the metals and also the characters as we 
know them are dead, for the salts, sulphur, and quintessences of metals are the highest preservatives 
of human life and are far superior to all other simples." (Translated from the original German.) 

The black magician cannot use the symbols of white magic without bringing down upon himself the 
forces of white magic, which would be fatal to his schemes. He must therefore distort the hierograms 
so that they typify the occult fact that he himself is distorting the principles for which the symbols 
stand. Black magic is not a fundamental art; it is the misuse of an art. Therefore it has no symbols of 

its own. It merely takes the emblematic figures of white magic, and by inverting and reversing them 
signifies that it is left-handed. 

A good instance of this practice is found in the pentagram, or five-pointed star, made of five 
connected lines. This figure is the time-honored symbol of the magical arts, and signifies the five 
properties of the Great Magical Agent, the five senses of man, the five elements of nature, the five 
extremities of the human body. By means of the pentagram within his own soul, man not only may 
master and govern all creatures inferior to himself, but may demand consideration at the hands of 
those superior to himself. 

The pentagram is used extensively in black magic, but when so used its form always differs in one of 
three ways: The star may be broken at one point by not permitting the converging lines to touch; it 
may be inverted by having one point down and two up; or it may be distorted by having the points of 
varying lengths. When used in black magic, the pentagram is called the "sign of the cloven hoof," or 
the footprint of the Devil. The star with two points upward is also called the "Goat of Mendes," 
because the inverted star is the same shape as a goat's head. When the upright star turns and the 
upper point falls to the bottom, it signifies the fall of the Morning Star. 


From a mediaeval Book of Spirits (unpublished). 

The seven large circle are the planets, while the two small circles under each contain the seal and the character of the 
controlling intelligence of the planet. 

p. 105 

The Elements and Their Inhabitants 

FOR the most comprehensive and lucid exposition of occuh pneumatology (the branch of philosophy 
dealing with spiritual substances) extant, mankind is indebted to Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus 
(Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim), prince of alchemists and Hermetic philosophers and 
true possessor of the Royal Secret (the Philosopher's Stone and the Elixir of Life). Paracelsus believed 
that each of the four primary elements known to the ancients (earth, fire, air, and water) consisted of 
a subtle, vaporous principle and a gross corporeal substance. 

Air is, therefore, twofold in nature-tangible atmosphere and an intangible, volatile substratum which 
may be termed spiritual air. Fire is visible and invisible, discernible and indiscernible—a spiritual, 
ethereal flame manifesting through a material, substantial flame. Carrying the analogy further, water 
consists of a dense fluid and a potential essence of a fluidic nature. Earth has likewise two essential 
parts—the lower being fixed, terreous, immobile; the higher, rarefied, mobile, and virtual. The general 
term elements has been applied to the lower, or physical, phases of these four primary principles, and 
the name elemental essences to their corresponding invisible, spiritual constitutions. Minerals, plants, 
animals, and men live in a world composed of the gross side of these four elements, and from various 
combinations of them construct their living organisms. 

Henry Drummond, in Natural Law in the Spiritual World, describes this process as follows: "If we 
analyse this material point at which all life starts, we shall find it to consist of a clear structureless, 
jelly-like substance resembling albumen or white of egg. It is made of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and 
Nitrogen. Its name is protoplasm. And it is not only the structural unit with which all living bodies 
start in life, but with which they are subsequently built up. 'Protoplasm,' says Huxley, 'simple or 
nucleated, is the formal basis of all life. It is the clay of the Potter.'" 

The water element of the ancient philosophers has been metamorphosed into the hydrogen of 
modern science; the air has become oxygen; the fire, nitrogen; the earth, carbon. 

Just as visible Nature is populated by an infinite number of living creatures, so, according to 
Paracelsus, the invisible, spiritual counterpart of visible Nature (composed of the tenuous principles 
of the visible elements) is inhabited by a host of peculiar beings, to whom he has given the name 
elementals, and which have later been termed the Nature spirits. Paracelsus divided these people of 
the elements into four distinct groups, which he called gnomes, undines, sylphs, and salamanders. 
He taught that they were really living entities, many resembling human beings in shape, and 
inhabiting worlds of their own, unknown to man because his undeveloped senses were incapable of 
functioning beyond the limitations of the grosser elements. 

The civilizations of Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, and India believed implicitly in satyrs, sprites, and 
goblins. They peopled the sea with mermaids, the rivers and fountains with nymphs, the air with 
fairies, the fire with Lares and Penates, and the earth with fauns, dryads, and hamadryads. These 
Nature spirits were held in the highest esteem, and propitiatory offerings were made to them. 
Occasionally, as the result of atmospheric conditions or the peculiar sensitiveness of the devotee, they 
became visible. Many authors wrote concerning them in terms which signify that they had actually 
beheld these inhabitants of Nature's finer realms. A number of authorities are of the opinion that 
many of the gods worshiped by the pagans were elementals, for some of these invisibles were believed 
to be of commanding stature and magnificent deportment. 

The Greeks gave the name dsemon to some of these elementals, especially those of the higher orders, 
and worshiped them. Probably the most famous of these daemons is the mysterious spirit which 

instructed Socrates, and of whom that great philosopher spoke in the highest terms. Those who have 
devoted much study to the invisible constitution of man realize that it is quite probable the dsmon of 
Socrates and the angel of Jakob Bohme were in reality not elementals, but the overshadowing divine 
natures of these philosophers themselves. In his notes to Apuleius on the God of Socrates, Thomas 
Taylor says: 

"As the daemon of Socrates, therefore, was doubtless one of the highest order, as may be inferred from 
the intellectual superiority of Socrates to most other men, Apuleius is justified in calling this deemon a 
God. And that the daemon of Socrates indeed was divine, is evident from the testimony of Socrates 
himself in the First Alcibiades: for in the course of that dialogue he clearly says, 'I have long been of 
the opinion that the God did not as yet direct me to hold any conversation with you.' And in the 
Apology he most unequivocally evinces that this deemon is allotted a divine transcendency, 
considered as ranking in the order of daemons." 

The idea once held, that the invisible elements surrounding and interpenetrating the earth were 
peopled with living, intelligent beings, may seem ridiculous to the prosaic mind of today. This 
doctrine, however, has found favor with some of the greatest intellects of the world. The sylphs of 
Facius Cardin, the philosopher of Milan; the salamander seen by Benvenuto Cellini; the pan of St. 
Anthony; and le petit homme rouge (the little red man, or gnome) of Napoleon Bonaparte, have 
found their places in the pages of history. 

Literature has also perpetuated the concept of Nature spirits. The mischievous Puck of Shakespeare's 
Midsummer Night's Dream; the elementals of Alexander Pope's Rosicrucian poem, The Rape of the 
Lock, the mysterious creatures of Lord Lytton's Zanoni; James Barrie's immortal Tinker Bell; and the 
famous bowlers that Rip Van Winkle encountered in the Catskill Mountains, are well-known 
characters to students of literature. The folklore and mjlihology of all peoples abound in legends 
concerning these mysterious little figures who haunt old castles, guard treasures in the depths of the 
earth, and build their homes under the spreading protection of toadstools. Fairies are the delight of 
childhood, and most children give them up with reluctance. Not so very long ago the greatest minds 
of the world believed in the existence of fairies, and it is still an open question as to whether Plato, 
Socrates, and lamblichus were wrong when they avowed their reality. 

Paracelsus, when describing the substances which constitute the bodies of the elementals, divided 
flesh into two kinds, the first being that which we have all inherited through Adam. This is the visible, 
corporeal flesh. The second was that flesh which had not descended from Adam and, being more 
attenuated, was not subject to the limitations of the former. The bodies of the elementals were 
composed of this transubstantial flesh. Paracelsus stated that there is as much difference between the 
bodies of men and the bodies of the Nature spirits as there is between matter and spirit. 

"Yet," he adds, "the Elementals are not spirits, because they have flesh, blood and bones; they live and 
propagate offspring; they cat and talk, act and sleep, &c., and consequently they cannot be properly 
called 'spirits.' They are beings occupying a place between men and spirits, resembling men and 
spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and form, and resembling spirits in the 
rapidity of their locomotion." {Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.) Later the same 
author calls these creatures composita, inasmuch as the substance out of which they are composed 
seems to be a composite of spirit and matter. He uses color to explain the idea. Thus, the mixture of 
blue and red gives purple, a new color, resembling neither of the others yet composed of both. Such is 
the case with the Nature spirits; they resemble neither spiritual creatures nor material beings, yet are 
composed of the substance which we may call spiritual matter, or ether. 

Paracelsus further adds that whereas man is composed of several natures (spirit, soul, mind, and 
body) combined in one unit, the elemental has but one principle, the ether out of which it is 
composed and in which it lives. The reader must remember that by ether 


From Paracelsus' Anslegung von 30 magischen Figuren. 

The Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Persians often mistook the salamanders for gods, because of their radiant splendor and 
great power. The Greeks, following the example of earlier nations, deified the fire spirits and in their honor kept incense 
and altar fire, burning perpetually. 

p. 106 

is meant the spiritual essence of one of the four elements. There areas many ethers as there are 
elements and as many distinct families of Nature spirits as there are ethers. These families are 
completely isolated in their own ether and have no intercourse with the denizens of the other ethers; 
but, as man has within his own nature centers of consciousness sensitive to the impulses of all the 
four ethers, it is possible for any of the elemental kingdoms to communicate with him under proper 

The Nature spirits cannot be destroyed by the grosser elements, such as material fire, earth, air, or 
water, for they function in a rate of vibration higher than that of earthy substances. Being composed 
of only one element or principle (the ether in which they function), they have no immortal spirit and 
at death merely disintegrate back into the element from which they were originally individualized. No 
individual consciousness is preserved after death, for there is no superior vehicle present to contain it. 
Being made of but one substance, there is no friction between vehicles: thus there is little wear or tear 
incurred by their bodily functions, and they therefore live to great age. Those composed of earth ether 
are the shortest lived; those composed of air ether, the longest. The average length of life is between 
three hundred and a thousand years. Paracelsus maintained that they live in conditions similar to our 
earth environments, and are somewhat subject to disease. These creatures are thought to be 
incapable of spiritual development, but most of them are of a high moral character. 

Concerning the elemental ethers in which the Nature spirits exist, Paracelsus wrote: "They live in the 
four elements: the Nymphse in the element of water, the Sylphes in that of the air, the Pigmies in the 
earth, and the Salamanders in fire. They are also called Undinge, Sylvestres, Gnomi, Vulcani, &c. Each 
species moves only in the element to which it belongs, and neither of them can go out of its 

appropriate element, which is to them as the air is to us, or the water to fishes; and none of them can 
live in the element belonging to another class. To each elemental being the element in which it lives is 
transparent, invisible and respirable, as the atmosphere is to ourselves." {Philosophia Occulta, 
translated by Franz Hartmann.) 

The reader should be careful not to confuse the Nature spirits with the true life waves evolving 
through the invisible worlds. While the elementals are composed of only one etheric (or atomic) 
essence, the angels, archangels, and other superior, transcendental entities have composite organisms, 
consisting of a spiritual nature and a chain of vehicles to express that nature not unlike those of men, 
but not including the physical body with its attendant limitations. 

To the philosophy of Nature spirits is generally attributed an Eastern origin, probably Brahmanic; 
and Paracelsus secured his knowledge of them from Oriental sages with whom he came in contact 
during his lifetime of philosophical wanderings. The Egyptians and Greeks gleaned their information 
from the same source. The four main divisions of Nature spirits must now be considered separately, 
according to the teachings of Paracelsus and the Abbe de Villars and such scanty writings of other 
authors as are available. 


The elementals who dwell in that attenuated body of the earth which is called the terreous ether are 
grouped together under the general heading of gnomes. (The name is probably derived from the 
Greek genomus, meaning earth dweller. See New English Dictionary.) 

Just as there are many types of human beings evolving through the objective physical elements of 
Nature, so there are many types of gnomes evolving through the subjective ethereal body of Nature. 
These earth spirits work in an element so close in vibratory rate to the material earth that they have 
immense power over its rocks and flora, and also over the mineral elements in the animal and human 
kingdoms. Some, like the pygmies, work with the stones, gems, and metals, and are supposed to be 
the guardians of hidden treasures. They live in caves, far down in what the Scandinavians called the 
Land of the Nibelungen. In Wagner's wonderful opera cycle. The Ring of the Nibelungen, Alberich 
makes himself King of the Pygmies and forces these little creatures to gather for him the treasures 
concealed beneath the surface of the earth. 

Besides the pygmies there are other gnomes, who are called tree and forest sprites. To this group 
belong the sylvestres, satyrs, pans, dryads, hamadryads, durdalis, elves, brownies, and little old men 
of the woods. Paracelsus states that the gnomes build houses of substances resembling in their 
constituencies alabaster, marble, and cement, but the true nature of these materials is unknown, 
having no counterpart in physical nature. Some families of gnomes gather in communities, while 
others are indigenous to the substances with and in which they work. For example, the hamadryads 
live and die with the plants or trees of which they are a part. Every shrub and flower is said to have its 
own Nature spirit, which often uses the physical body of the plant as its habitation. The ancient 
philosophers, recognizing the principle of intelligence manifesting itself in every department of 
Nature alike, believed that the quality of natural selection exhibited by creatures not possessing 
organized mentalities expressed in reality the decisions of the Nature spirits themselves. 

C. M. Gayley, in The Classic Myths, says: "It was a pleasing trait in the old paganism that it loved to 
trace in every operation of nature the agency of deity. The imagination of the Greeks peopled the 
regions of earth and sea with divinities, to whose agency it attributed the phenomena that our 
philosophy ascribes to the operation of natural law." Thus, in behalf of the plant it worked with, the 
elemental accepted and rejected food elements, deposited coloring matter therein, preserved and 
protected the seed, and performed many other beneficent offices. Each species was served by a 
different but appropriate type of Nature spirit. Those working with poisonous shrubs, for example. 

were offensive in their appearance. It is said the Nature spirits of poison hemlock resemble closely 

tiny human skeletons, thinly covered with a semi-transparent flesh. They live in and through the 
hemlock, and if it be cut down remain with the broken shoots until both die, but while there is the 
slightest evidence of life in the shrub it shows the presence of the elemental guardian. 

Great trees also have their Nature spirits, but these are much larger than the elementals of smaller 
plants. The labors of the pygmies include the cutting of the crystals in the rocks and the development 
of veins of ore. When the gnomes are laboring with animals or human beings, their work is confined 
to the tissues corresponding with their own natures. Hence they work with the bones, which belong to 
the mineral kingdom, and the ancients believed the reconstruction of broken members to be 
impossible without the cooperation of the elementals. 

The gnomes are of various sizes—most of them much smaller than human beings, though some of 
them have the power of changing their stature at will. This is the result of the extreme mobility of the 
element in which they function. Concerning them the Abbe de Villars wrote: "The earth is filled well 
nigh to its center with Gnomes, people of slight stature, who are the guardians of treasures, minerals 
and precious stones. They are ingenious, friends of man, and easy to govern." 

Not all authorities agree concerning the amiable disposition of the gnomes. Many state that they are 
of a tricky and malicious nature, difficult to manage, and treacherous. Writers agree, however, that 
when their confidence is won they are faithful and true. The philosophers and initiates of the ancient 
world were instructed concerning these mysterious little people and were taught how to communicate 
with them and gain their cooperation in undertakings of importance. The magi were always warned, 
however, never to betray the trust of the elementals, for if they did, the invisible creatures, working 
through the subjective nature of man, could cause them endless sorrow and probably ultimate 
destruction. So long as the mystic served others, the gnomes would serve him, but if he sought to use 
their aid selfishly to gain temporal power they would turn upon him with unrelenting fury. The same 
was true if he sought to deceive them. 

The earth spirits meet at certain times of the year in great conclaves, as Shakespeare suggests in his 
Midsummer Night's Dream, where the elementals all gather to rejoice in the beauty and harmony of 
Nature and the prospects of an excellent harvest. The gnomes are ruled over by a king, whom they 
greatly love and revere. His name is Gob; hence his subjects are often called goblins. Mediaeval 
mystics gave a comer of creation (one of the cardinal points) to each of the four kingdoms of Nature 
spirits, and because of their earthy character the gnomes were assigned to the North—the place 
recognized by the ancients as the source of darkness and death. One of the four main divisions of 
human disposition was also assigned to the gnomes, and because so many of them dwelt in the 
darkness of caves and the gloom of forests their temperament was said to be melancholy, gloomy, and 
despondent. By this it is not meant that they themselves are of such disposition, but rather that they 
have special control over elements of similar consistency. 

The gnomes marry and have families, and the female gnomes are called gnomides. Some wear 
clothing woven of the element in which they live. In other instances their garments are part of 
themselves and grow with them, like the fur of animals. The gnomes are said to have insatiable 
appetites, and to spend a great part of the rime eating, but they earn their food by diligent and 


From Gjellerup's DenMldre Eddas Gudesange. 

The type of gnome most frequently seen is the brownie, or elf, a mischievous and grotesque little creature from twelve to 
eighteen inches high, usually dressed in green or russet brown. Most of them appear as very aged, often with long white 
beards, and their figures are inclined to rotundity. They can be seen scampering out of holes in the stumps of trees and 
sometimes they vanish by actually dissolving into the tree itself. 

p. 107 

labor. Most of them are of a miserly temperament, fond of storing things away in secret places. There 
is abundant evidence of the fact that small children often see the gnomes, inasmuch as their contact 
with the material side of Nature is not yet complete and they still function more or less consciously in 
the invisible worlds. 

According to Paracelsus, "Man lives in the exterior elements and the Elementals live in the interior 
elements. The latter have dwellings and clothing, manners and customs, languages and governments 
of their own, in the same sense as the bees have their queens and herds of animals their leaders." 
(Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.) 

Paracelsus differs somewhat from the Greek mystics concerning the environmental limitations 
imposed on the Nature spirits. The Swiss philosopher constitutes them of subtle invisible ethers. 
According to this hypothesis they would be visible only at certain times and only to those en rapport 
with their ethereal vibrations. The Greeks, on the other hand, apparently believed that many Nature 
spirits had material constitutions capable of functioning in the physical world. Often the recollection 
of a dream is so vivid that, upon awakening, a person actually believes that he has passed through a 
physical experience. The difficulty of accurately judging as to the end of physical sight and the 
beginning of ethereal vision may account for these differences of opinion. 

Even this explanation, however, does not satisfactorily account for the satyr which, according to St. 
Jerome, was captured alive during the reign of Constantine and exhibited to the people. It was of 
human form with the horns and feet of a goat. After its death it was preserved in salt and taken to the 
Emperor that he might testify to its reality. (It is within the bounds of probability that this curiosity 
was what modern science knows as a monstrosity.) 


As the gnomes were limited in their function to the elements of the earth, so the undines (a name 
given to the family of water elementals) function in the invisible, spiritual essence called humid (or 

liquid) ether. In its vibratory rate this is close to the element water, and so the undines are able to 
control, to a great degree, the course and function of this fluid in Nature. Beauty seems to be the 
keynote of the water spirits. Wherever we find them pictured in art or sculpture, they abound in 
symmetry and grace. Controlling the water element —which has always been a feminine symbol—it is 
natural that the water spirits should most often be symbolized as female. 

There are many groups of undines. Some inhabit waterfalls, where they can be seen in the spray; 
others are indigenous to swiftly moving rivers; some have their habitat in dripping, oozing fens or 
marshes; while other groups dwell in clear mountain lakes. According to the philosophers of antiquity, 
every fountain had its nymph; every ocean wave its oceanid. The water spirits were known under such 
names as oreades, nereides, limoniades, naiades, water sprites, sea maids, mermaids, and potamides. 
Often the water nymphs derived their names from the streams, lakes, or seas in which they dwelt. 

In describing them, the ancients agreed on certain salient features. In general, nearly all the undines 
closely resembled human beings in appearance and size, though the ones inhabiting small streams 
and fountains were of correspondingly lesser proportions. It was believed that these water spirits 
were occasionally capable of assuming the appearance of normal human beings and actually 
associating with men and women. There are many legends about these spirits and their adoption by 
the families of fishermen, but in nearly every case the undines heard the call of the waters and 
returned to the realm of Neptune, the King of the Sea. 

Practically nothing is known concerning the male undines. The water spirits did not establish homes 
in the same way that the gnomes did, but lived in coral caves under the ocean or among the reeds 
growing on the banks of rivers or the shores of lakes. Among the Celts there is a legend to the effect 
that Ireland was peopled, before the coming of its present inhabitants, by a strange race of semi- 
divine creatures; with the coming of the modem Celts they retired into the marshes and fens, where 
they remain even to this day. Diminutive undines lived under lily pads and in little houses of moss 
sprayed by waterfalls. The undines worked with the vital essences and liquids in plants, animals, and 
human beings, and were present in everything containing water. When seen, the undines generally 
resembled the goddesses of Greek statuary. They rose from the water draped in mist and could not 
exist very long apart from it. 

There are many families of undines, each with its peculiar limitations, it is impossible to consider 
them here in detail. Their ruler, Necksa, they love and honor, and serve untiringly. Their 
temperament is said to be vital, and to them has been given as their throne the western corner of 
creation. They are rather emotional beings, friendly to human life and fond of serving mankind. They 
are sometimes pictured riding on dolphins or other great fish and seem to have a special love of 
flowers and plants, which they serve almost as devotedly and intelligently as the gnomes. Ancient 
poets have said that the songs of the undines were heard in the West Wind and that their lives were 
consecrated to the beautifying of the material earth. 


The third group of elementals is the salamanders, or spirits of fire, who live in that attenuated, 
spiritual ether which is the invisible fire element of Nature. Without them material fire cannot exist; a 
match cannot be struck nor will flint and steel give off their spark without the assistance of a 
salamander, who immediately appears (so the mediaeval mystics believed), evoked by friction. Man is 
unable to communicate successfully with the salamanders, owing to the fiery element in which they 
dwell, for everything is resolved to ashes that comes into their presence. By specially prepared 
compounds of herbs and perfumes the philosophers of the ancient world manufactured many kinds 
of incense. When incense was burned, the vapors which arose were especially suitable as a medium 
for the expression of these elementals, who, by borrowing the ethereal effluvium from the incense 
smoke, were able to make their presence felt. 

The salamanders are as varied in their grouping and arrangement as either the undines or the 
gnomes. There are many famihes of them, differing in appearance, size, and dignity. Sometimes the 
salamanders were visible as small balls of light. Paracelsus says: "Salamanders have been seen in the 
shapes of fiery balls, or tongues of fire, running over the fields or peering in houses." (Philosophia 
Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann.) 

Mediaeval investigators of the Nature spirits were of the opinion that the most common form of 
salamander was lizard-like in shape, a foot or more in length, and visible as a glowing Urodela, 
twisting and crawling in the midst of the fire. Another group was described as huge flaming giants in 
flowing robes, protected with sheets of fiery armor. Certain mediseval authorities, among them the 
Abbe de Villars, held that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was the son of Vesta (believed to have been the wife 
of Noah) and the great salamander Oromasis. Hence, from that time onward, undying fires have been 
maintained upon the Persian altars in honor of Zarathustra's flaming father. 

One most important subdivision of the salamanders was the Acthnici. These creatures appeared only 
as indistinct globes. They were supposed to float over water at night and occasionally to appear as 
forks of flame on the masts and rigging of ships (St. Elmo's fire). The salamanders were the strongest 
and most powerful of the elementals, and had as their ruler a magnificent flaming spirit called Djin, 
terrible and awe-inspiring in appearance. The salamanders were dangerous and the sages were 
warned to keep away from them, as the benefits derived from studying them were often not 
commensurate with the price paid. As the ancients associated heat with the South, this corner of 
creation was assigned to the salamanders as their drone, and they exerted special influence over all 
beings of fiery or tempestuous temperament. In both animals and men, the salamanders work 
through the emotional nature by means of the body heat, the liver, and the blood stream. Without 
their assistance there would be no warmth. 

While the sages said that the fourth class of elementals, or sylphs, lived in the element of air, they 
meant by this not the natural atmosphere of the earth, but the invisible, intangible, spiritual medium- 
-an ethereal substance similar in composition to our atmosphere, but far more subtle. In the last: 
discourse of Socrates, as preserved by Plato in his Phsedo, the condemned philosopher says: 

"And upon the earth are animals and men, some in a middle region, others (elementals] dwelling 
about the air as we dwell about the sea; others in islands which the air flows round, near the continent; 
and in a word, the air is used by them as the water and the sea are by us, and the ether is to them what 
the air is to us. More over, the temperament of their seasons is such that they have no disease 
[Paracelsus disputes this], and live much longer than we do, 



From Lycosthenes' Prodigiorum ac Ostentorum Chronicon. 

Probably the most famous of the undines were the mythological mermaids, with which early mariners peopled the Seven 
Seas. Belief in the existence of these creatures, the upper half of their bodies human in form and the lower half fishlike, 
may have been inspired by flocks of penguins seen at great distance, or possibly seals. In mediaeval descriptions of 
mermaids, it was also stated that their hair was green like seaweed and that they wore wreaths twisted from the blossoms 
of subaqueous plants and sea anemones. 

p. 108 

and have sight and bearing and smell, and all the other senses, in far greater perfection, in the same 
degree that air is purer than water or the ether than air. Also they have temples and sacred places in 
which the gods really dwell, and they hear their voices and receive their answers, and are conscious of 
them and hold converse with them, and they see the sun, moon, and stars as they really are, and their 
other blessedness is of a piece with this." While the sylphs were believed to live among the clouds and 
in the surrounding air, their true home was upon the tops of mountains. 

In his editorial notes to the Occult Sciences of Salverte, Anthony Todd Thomson says: "The Fayes and 
Fairies are evidently of Scandinavian origin, although the name of Fairy is supposed to be derived 
from, or rather [is] a modification of the Persian Peri, an imaginary benevolent being, whose province 
it was to guard men from the maledictions of evil spirits; but with more probability it may be referred 
to the Gothic Fagur, as the term Elves is from Alfa, the general appellation for the whole tribe. If this 
derivation of the name of Fairy be admitted, we may date the commencement of the popular belief in 
British Fairies to the period of the Danish conquest. They were supposed to be diminutive aerial 
beings, beautiful, lively, and beneficent in their intercourse with mortals, inhabiting a region called 
Fairy Land, Alf-heinner; commonly appearing on earth at intervals—when they left traces of their 
visits, in beautiful green-rings, where the dewy sward had been trodden in their moonlight dances." 

To the sylphs the ancients gave the labor of modeling the snowflakes and gathering clouds. This latter 
they accomplished with the cooperation of the undines who supplied the moisture. The winds were 
their particular vehicle and the ancients referred to them as the spirits of the air. They are the highest 
of all the elementals, their native element being the highest in vibratory rate. They live hundreds of 
years, often attaining to a thousand years and never seeming to grow old. The leader of the sylphs is 
called Paralda, who is said to dwell on the highest mountain of the earth. The female sylphs were 
called sylphids. 

It is believed that the sylphs, salamanders, and nymphs had much to do with the oracles of the 
ancients; that in fact they were the ones who spoke from the depths of the earth and from the air 

The sylphs sometimes assume human form, but apparently for only short periods of time. Their size 
varies, but in the majority of cases they are no larger than human beings and often considerably 
smaller. It is said that the sylphs have accepted human beings into their communities and have 
permitted them to live there for a considerable period; in fact, Paracelsus wrote of such an incident, 
but of course it could not have occurred while the human stranger was in his physical body. By some, 
the Muses of the Greeks are believed to have been sylphs, for these spirits are said to gather around 
the mind of the dreamer, the poet, and the artist, and inspire him with their intimate knowledge of 
the beauties and workings of Nature. To the sylphs were given the eastern corner of creation. Their 
temperament is mirthful, changeable, and eccentric. The peculiar qualities common to men of genius 
are supposedly the result of the cooperation of sylphs, whose aid also brings with it the sylphic 
inconsistency. The sylphs labor with the gases of the human body and indirectly with the nervous 
system, where their inconstancy is again apparent. They have no fixed domicile, but wander about 
from place to place—elemental nomads, invisible but ever-present powers in the intelligent activity of 
the universe. 


Certain of the ancients, differing with Paracelsus, shared the opinion that the elemental kingdoms 
were capable of waging war upon one another, and they recognized in the battlings of the elements 
disagreements among these kingdoms of Nature spirits. When lightning struck a rock and splintered 
it, they believed that the salamanders were attacking the gnomes. As they could not attack one 
another on the plane of their own peculiar etheric essences, owing to the fact that there was no 
vibratory correspondence between the four ethers of which these kingdoms are composed, they had 
to attack through a common denominator, namely, the material substance of the physical universe 
over which they had a certain amount of power. 

Wars were also fought within the groups themselves; one army of gnomes would attack another army, 
and civil war would be rife among them. Philosophers of long ago solved the problems of Nature's 
apparent inconsistencies by individualizing and personifying all its forces, crediting them with having 
temperaments not unlike the human and then expecting them to exhibit typical human 
inconsistencies. The four fixed signs of the zodiac were assigned to the four kingdoms of elementals. 
The gnomes were said to be of the nature of Taurus; the undines, of the nature of Scorpio; the 
salamanders exemplified the constitution of Leo; while the sylphs manipulated the emanations of 

The Christian Church gathered all the elemental entities together under the title of demon. This is a 
misnomer with far-reaching consequences, for to the average mind the word demon means an evil 
thing, and the Nature spirits are essentially no more malevolent than are the minerals, plants, and 
animals. Many of the early Church Fathers asserted that they had met and debated with the 

As already stated, the Nature spirits are without hope of immortality, although some philosophers 
have maintained that in isolated cases immortality was conferred upon them by adepts and initiates 
who understood certain subtle principles of the invisible world. As disintegration takes place in the 
physical world, so it takes place in the ethereal counterpart of physical substance. Under normal 
conditions at death, a Nature spirit is merely resolved back into the transparent primary essence from 
which it was originally individualized. Whatever evolutionary growth is made is recorded solely in the 
consciousness of that primary essence, or element, and not in the temporarily individualized entity of 
the elemental. Being without man's compound organism and lacking his spiritual and intellectual 
vehicles, the Nature spirits are subhuman in their rational intelligence, but from their functions- 
limited to one element —has resulted a specialized type of intelligence far ahead of man in those lines 
of research peculiar to the element in which they exist. 

The terms incubus and succubus have been applied indiscriminately by the Church Fathers to 
elementals. The incubus and succubus, however, are evil and unnatural creations, whereas elementals 
is a collective term for all the inhabitants of the four elemental essences. According to Paracelsus, the 
incubus and succubus (which are male and female respectively) are parasitical creatures subsisting 
upon the evil thoughts and emotions of the astral body. These terms are also applied to the 
superphysical organisms of sorcerers and black magicians. While these larvae are in no sense 
imaginary beings, they are, nevertheless, the offspring of the imagination. By the ancient sages they 
were recognized as the invisible cause of vice because they hover in the ethers surrounding the 
morally weak and continually incite them to excesses of a degrading nature. For this reason they 
frequent the atmosphere of the dope den, the dive, and the brothel, where they attach themselves to 
those unfortunates who have given themselves up to iniquity. By permitting his senses to become 
deadened through indulgence in habit-forming drugs or alcoholic stimulants, the individual becomes 
temporarily en rapport with these denizens of the astral plane. The houris seen by the hasheesh or 
opium addict and the lurid monsters which torment the victim of delirium tremens are examples of 
submundane beings, visible only to those whose evil practices are the magnet for their attraction. 

Differing widely from the elementals and also the incubus and succubus is the vampire, which is 
defined by Paracelsus as the astral body of a person either living or dead (usually the latter state). The 
vampire seeks to prolong existence upon the physical plane by robbing the living of their vital 
energies and misappropriating such energies to its own ends. 

In his De Ente Spirituali Paracelsus writes thus of these malignant beings: "A healthy and pure 
person cannot become obsessed by them, because such Larvae can only act upon men if the later make 
room for them in their minds. A healthy mind is a castle that cannot be invaded without the will of its 
master; but if they are allowed to enter, they excite the passions of men and women, they create 
cravings in them, they produce bad thoughts which act injuriously upon the brain; they sharpen the 
animal intellect and suffocate the moral sense. Evil spirits obsess only those human beings in whom 
the animal nature is predominating. Minds that are illuminated by the spirit of truth cannot be 
possessed; only those who are habitually guided by their own lower impulses may become subjected 
to their influences." (See Paracelsus, by Franz Hartmann.) 

A strange concept, and one somewhat at variance with the conventional, is that evolved by the Count 
de Gabalis concerning the immaculate conception, namely, that it represents the union of a human 
being with an elemental. Among the offspring of such unions he lists Hercules, Achilles, -^neas, 
Theseus, Melchizedek, the divine Plato, ApoUonius of Tyana, and Merlin the Magician. 


From sketch by Howard Wookey. 

The sylphs were changeable entities, passing to and fro with the rapidity of lightning. They work through the gases and 
ethers of the earth and are kindly disposed toward human beings. They are nearly always represented as winged, 
sometimes as tiny cherubs and at other times as delicate fairies. 

p. 109 

Hermetic Pharmacology, Chemistry, and 


THE art of healing was originally one of the secret sciences of the priestcraft, and the mystery of its 
source is obscured by the same veil which hides the genesis of religious belief. All higher forms of 
knowledge were originally in the possession of the sacerdotal castes. The temple was the cradle of 
civilization. The priests, exercising their divine prerogative, made the laws and enforced them; 
appointed the rulers and controlled than; ministered to the needs of the living, and guided the 
destinies of the dead. All branches of learning were monopolized by the priesthood, who admitted 
into their ranks only those intellectually and morally qualified to perpetuate their arcanum. The 
following quotation from Plato's Statesman is apropos of the subject: " * * * in Egypt, the King 
himself is not allowed to reign, unless he have priestly powers; and if he should be one of another 
class, and have obtained the throne by violence, he must get enrolled in the priestcraft." 

Candidates aspiring to membership in the religious orders underwent severe tests to prove their 
worthiness. These ordeals were called initiations. Those who passed them successfully were 
welcomed as brothers by the priests and were instructed in the secret teachings. Among the ancients, 
philosophy, science, and religion were never considered as separate units: each was regarded as an 
integral part of the whole. Philosophy was scientific and religious; science was philosophic and 
religious I religion was philosophic and scientific. Perfect wisdom was considered unattainable save 
as the result of harmonizing all three of these expressions of mental and moral activity. 

While modern physicians accredit Hippocrates with being the father of medicine, the ancient 
therapeutae ascribed to the immortal Hermes the distinction of being the founder of the art of healing. 
Clemens Alexandrinus, in de